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question, What is a society ? has to be asked and answered 
at the outset. Until we have decided whether or not to regard 
a society as an entity, and until we have decided whether, if regarded 
as an entity, a society is to be classed as absolutely unlike all other 
entities or as like some others, our conception of the subject-matter 
before us remains vague. 

It may be said that a society is but a collective name for a num 
ber of individuals. Carrying the controversy between nominalism 
and realism into another sphere, a nominalist might affirm that, just 
as there exist only the members of a species, while the species con 
sidered apart from them has no existence, so the units of a society 
alone exist, while the existence of the society is but verbal. Instanc 
ing a lecturer s audience as an aggregate which, by disappearing at 
the close of the lecture, proves itself to be not a thing but only a 
certain arrangement of persons, he might argue that the like holds 
of the citizens forming a nation. 

But, without disputing the other steps of his argument, the last 
step may be denied. The arrangement, temporary in one case, is 
lasting in the other ; and it is the permanence of the relations among 
component parts which constitutes the individuality of a whole as 
distinguished from the individualities of its parts. A coherent mass 
broken into fragments ceases to be a thing ; while, conversely, the 
stones, bricks, ajid wood, previously separate, become the thing called 
a house if connected in fixed ways. 

Thus we consistently regard a society as an entity, because, though 
formed of discrete units, a certain concreteness in the aggregate of 

1 From advance-sheets of the "Principles of Sociology," Part II, "The Inductions 
of Sociology." 

VOL. IX. 1 


Evolution establishes in them both, not differences simply, but defi 
nitely-connected differences differences such that each makes the 
others possible. The parts of an inorganic aggregate are so related 
that one may change greatly without appreciably affecting the rest. 
It is otherwise with the parts of ah organic aggregate or of a social 
aggregate. In either of these the changes in the parts are mutually 
determined, and the changed actions of the parts are mutually depend 
ent. In both, too, this mutuality increases as the evolution advances. 
The lowest type of animal is all stomach, all respiratory surface, all 
limb. Development of a type having appendages by which to move 
about or lay hold of food can take place only if these appendages, 
losing power to absorb nutriment directly from surrounding bodies, 
are supplied with nutriment by parts which retain the power of ab 
sorption. A respiratory surface, to which the circulating fluids are 
brought to be aerated, can be formed only on condition that the con 
comitant loss of ability to supply itself with materials for repair and 
growth is made good by the development of a structure bringing 
these materials. So is it in a society. What we call with perfect 
propriety its organization has a necessary implication of the same kind. 
While rudimentary, it is all warrior, all hunter, all hut-builder, all 
tool-maker: every part fulfills for itself all needs. Progress to a 
stage characterized by a permanent army can go on only as there 
arise arrangements for supplying that army with food, clothes, and 
munitions of war, by the rest. If here the population occupies itself 
solely with agriculture and there with mining if these manufacture 
goods while those distribute them it must be on condition that, in 
exchange for a special kind of service rendered by each part to other 
parts, these other parts severally give due proportions of their services. 

This division of labor, first dwelt on by political economists as a 
social phenomenon, and thereupon recognized by biologists as a phe 
nomenon of living bodies, which they called the " physiological divi 
sion of labor," is that which in the society, as in the animal, makes it 
a living whole. Scarcely can I Emphasize sufficiently the truth that, 
in respect of this fundamental trait, a social organism and an indi 
vidual organism are entirely alike. When we see that, iii a mammal, 
arresting the lungs quickly brings the heart to a stand ; that if the 
stomach fails absolutely in its office all other parts by-and-by cease 
to act ; that paralysis of its limbs entails on the body at large death 
from want of food or inability to escape ; that loss of even such small 
organs as the eyes deprives the rest of a service essential to their 
preservation we cannot but admit that mutual dependence of parts 
is an essential characteristic. And when, in a society, we see that 
the workers in iron stop if the miners do not supply materials ; that 
makers of clothes cannot carry on their business in the absence of 
those who spin and weave textile fabrics ; that the manufacturing 
community will cease to act unless the food-producing and food-dis- 


tributing agencies are acting ; that the controlling powers, govern 
ments, bureaus, judicial officers, police, must fail to keep order when 
the necessaries of life are not supplied to them by the parts kept in 
order we are obliged to say that this mutual dependence of parts is 
similarly rigorous. Unlike as the two kinds of aggregates are in 
sundry respects, they are alike in respect of this fundamental char 
acter, and the characters implied by it. 

How the combined actions of mutually-dependent parts constitute 
life of the whole, and how there hence results a parallelism between 
national life and individual life, we see still more clearly on learning 
that the life of every visible organism is constituted by the lives of 
units too minute to be seen by the unaided eye. 

An undeniable illustration is furnished us by the strange order 
Myxomycetes. The spores or germs produced by one of these forms 
become ciliated monads which, after a time of active locomotion, 
change into shapes like those of amoebae, move about, take in nu 
triment, grow, multiply by fission. Then these amoeba-form indi 
viduals swarm together, begin to coalesce into groups, and these 
groups to coalesce with one another, making a mass sometimes bare 
ly visible, sometimes as big as the hand. This plasmodium, irregu 
lar, mostly reticulated, and in substance gelatinous, itself exhibits 
movements of its parts like those of a gigantic rhizopod, creeping 
slowly over surfaces of decaying matters and even up the stems of 
plants. Here, then, union of many minute living individuals to form 
a relatively vast aggregate in which their individualities are appar 
ently lost, but the life of which results from combination of their 
lives, is demonstrable. 

In other cases, instead of units which, originally discrete, lose 
their individualities by aggregation, we have units which, arising by 
multiplication from the same germ, do not part company, but never 
theless display their separate lives very clearly. A growing sponge 
has its horny fibres clothed with a gelatinous substance, and the 
microscope shows this to consist of moving monads. We cannot 
deny life to the sponge as a whole, for it shows us some corporate 
actions. The outer amoeba-form units partially lose their individuali 
ties by fusion into a protective layer or skin ; the supporting frame 
work of fibres is produced by the joint agency of the monads, and 
from their joint agency also result those currents of water which are 
drawn in through the small orifices and expelled through the larger. 
But, while there is thus shown a feeble aggregate life, the lives of the 
myriads of component units are very little subordinated : these units 
form, as it were, a nation having scarcely any subdivision of func 
tions. Or, in the words of Prof. Huxley, " the sponge represents a 
kind of subaqueous city, where the people are arranged about the 
streets and roads in such a manner that each can easily appropriate 
his food from the water as it passes along." 


Even in the highest animals there remains traceable this relation be 
tween the aggregate life and the lives of components. Blood is a liquid 
in which, along with nutritive matters, circulate innumerable living 
units the blood-corpuscles. These have severally their life-histories. 
During its first stage each of them, then known as a white corpuscle, 
makes independent movements like those of an amrefca ; and though 
in its adult stage, as a red, flattened disk, it is not visibly active, its 
individual life continues. Nor is this individual life of the units 
provable only where free flotation in a liquid allows its signs to be 
readily seen. Sundry mucous surfaces, as those of the air-passages, 
are covered with what is called ciliated epithelium a layer of minute 
cells packed side by side, and each bearing on its exposed end several 
cilia continually in motion. The wavings of these cilia are essen 
tially like those of the monads which live in the passages running 
through a sponge ; and just as the joint action of these ciliated 
sponge monads propels the current of water, so does the joint action 
of the ciliated epithelium-cells move forward the mucous secretion 
covering them. If there needs further proof of the individual lives 
of these epithelium-cells, we have it in the fact that, when detached 
and placed in fluid, they " move about with considerable rapidity for 
some time, by the continued vibrations of the cilia with which they 
are furnished." 

On thus seeing that an ordinary living organism may be regarded 
as a nation of units that live individually, and have many of them 
considerable degrees of independence, we shall perceive how truly a 
nation of human beings may be regarded as an organism. 

The relation between the lives of the units and the life of the ag 
gregate has a further character common to the two cases. By a ca 
tastrophe the life of the aggregate may be destroyed without imme 
diately destroying the lives of all its units ; while, on the other hand, 
if no catastrophe abridges it, the life of the aggregate immensely 
exceeds in length the lives of its units. 

In a cold-blooded animal, ciliated cells perform their motions with 
perfect regularity long after the creature they are part of has become 
motionless ; muscular fibres retain their power of contracting under 
stimulation; the cells of secreting organs go on pouring out their 
product if blood is artificially supplied to them; and the components 
of an entire organ, as the heart, continue their cooperation for many 
hours after its detachment. Similarly, arrest of those commercial 
activities and governmental coordinations, etc., which constitute the 
corporate life of a nation, may be caused, say by an inroad of bar 
barians, without immediately stopping the actions of all the units. 
Certain classes of these, especially the widely-diffused ones engaged 
in food-production, may, in the remoter districts, long survive and 
carry on their individual occupations. 

Conversely, in both cases, if not brought to a close by violence 


the life of the aggregate greatly exceeds in duration the lives of its 
units. The minute living elements composing a developed animal 
severally evolve, play their parts, decay, and are replaced, while the 
animal as a whole continues. In the deep layer of the skin, cells are 
formed by fission, which, as they enlarge, are thrust outward, and, be 
coming flattened to form the epidermis, eventually .exfoliate, while the 
younger ones beneath take their places. Liver-cells, growing by im 
bibition of matters from which they separate the bile, presently die, 
and their vacant seats are occupied by another generation. Even 
bone, though so dense and seemingly inert, is permeated by blood 
vessels carrying materials to replace old components by new ones. 
And the replacement, rapid in some tissues and in others slow, goes 
on at such rate that, during the continued existence of the entire 
body, each portion of it has been many times over produced and de 
stroyed. Thus it is also with a society and its units. Integrity of 
the whole and of each large division is perennially maintained, not 
withstanding the deaths of component citizens. The fabric of living 
persons, which, in a manufacturing town, produces some commodity for 
national use, remains after a century as large a fabric, though all the 
masters and workers who a century ago composed it have long since 
disappeared. Even with the minor parts of this industrial structure 
the like holds. A firm that dates from past generations, still carry 
ing on business in the name of its founder, has had all its members and 
employes changed one by one, perhaps several times over, while the 
firm has continued to occupy the same place and to maintain like rela 
tions to buyers and sellers. Throughout we find this. Governing 
bodies, general and local, ecclesiastical corporations, armies, institu 
tions of all orders down to guilds, clubs, philanthropic associations, 
etc., show us a continuity of life exceeding that of the persons consti 
tuting them. Nay, more. As part of the same law, we see that the 
existence of the society at large exceeds in duration that of some of 
these compound parts. Private unions, local public bodies, secondary 
national institutions, towns carrying on special industries, may decay, 
while the nation, maintaining its integrity, evolves in mass and structure. 

In both cases, too, the mutually-dependent functions of the various 
divisions, being severally made up of the actions of many units, it 
results that these units, dying one by one, are replaced without the 
function in which they share being sensibly affected. In a muscle 
each sarcous element wearing out in its turn is removed, and a sub 
stitution made while the rest carry on their combined contractions as 
usual; and the retirement of a public official or death of a shopman 
perturbs inappreciably the business of the department or activity of 
the industry in which he had a share. 

Hence arises in the social organism, as in the individual organism, 
a life of the whole quite unlike the lives of the units, though it is a 
life produced by them. 


From these likenesses between the social organism and the indi 
vidual organism, we must now turn to an extreme unlikeness. The 
parts of an animal form a concrete whole, but the parts of a so 
ciety form a whole that is discrete. While the living units com 
posing the one are bound together in close contact, the living units 
composing the other are free, not in contact, and more or less widely 
dispersed. How, then, can there be any parallelism ? 

Though this difference is fundamental and apparently puts com 
parison out of the question, yet examination proves it to be less than 
it seems. Presently I shall have to point out that complete admis 
sion of it consists with maintenance of the alleged analogy; but we 
will first observe how one who thought it needful might argue that 
even in this respect there is more kinship than a cursory glance shows. 

He might urge that the physically-coherent body of an animal is 
not composed all through of living units, but that it consists in large 
measure of differentiated parts which the vitally active parts have 
formed, and which thereafter become semi-vital and in some cases 
almost un-vital. Taking as an example the protoplasmic layer under 
lying the skin, he might say that, while this consists of truly living 
units, the cells produced in it, changing into epithelium-scales, become 
inert protective structures ; and, pointing to the insensitive nails, hair, 
horns, and teeth, arising from this layer, he might show that such 
parts, though components of the organism, are hardly living compo 
nents. Carrying out the argument, he would contend that elsewhere 
in the body there exist such protoplasmic layers, from which grow 
the tissues composing the various organs layers which alone remain 
fully alive, while the structures evolved from them lose their vitality 
in proportion as they are specialized : instancing cartilage, tendon, 
and connective tissue, as showing in conspicuous ways this low vital 
ity. From all which he would draw the inference that, though the 
body forms a coherent whole, its essential units, taken by themselves, 
form a whole whicli is coherent only throughout the protoplasmic 

And then would follow the argument that the social organism, 
rightly conceived, is much less discontinuous than it seems. He 
would contend that, as in the individual organism we include with 
the fully living parts the less living and not living parts which co 
operate in the total activities, so, in the social organism, we must 
include not only those most highly-vitalized units, the human beings, 
who chiefly determine its phenomena, but also the various kinds of 
domestic animals, lower in the scale of life, which under the control 
of man cooperate with him, and even those far inferior structures the 
plants, which, propagated by human agency, supply materials for ani 
mal and human activities. In defense of this view he would point 
out how largely these lower classes of organisms, coexisting with men 
in societies, affect the structures and activities of the societies how 


the traits of the pastoral type depend on the natures of the creatures 
reared ; and how, in settled societies, the plants producing food, mate 
rials for textile fabrics, etc., determine certain kinds of social arrange 
ments and actions. After which he might insist that, since the physi 
cal characters, mental natures, and daily activities, of the human units 
are in part moulded by relations to these animals and vegetables 
which, living by their aid, and aiding them to live, enter so much into 
social life as even to be cared for by legislation, these lower living 
things cannot rightly be excluded from the conception of the social 
organism. Hence would corne his conclusion that when, with human 
beings, are incorporated the less vitalized beings, animal and vege 
tal, covering the surface occupied by the society, an aggregate 
results having a continuity of parts, more nearly approaching to that 
of an individual organism, and which is also like it in being composed 
of local aggregations of highly-vitalized units, imbedded in a vast 
aggregation of units of various lower degrees of vitality, which are 
in a sense produced by, modified by, and arranged by, the higher 

But without accepting this view, and admitting that the discrete 
ness of the social organism stands in marked contrast with the con- 
creteness of the individual organism, the objection may still be ade 
quately met. 

Though coherence among its parts is a prerequisite to that co 
operation by which the life of an individual organism is carried on, 
and though the members of a social organism, not forming a con 
crete whole, cannot maintain cooperation by means of physical in 
fluences directly propagated from part to part, yet they can and do 
maintain cooperation by another agency. Not in contact, they never 
theless affect one another through intervening spaces, both by emo 
tional language, and by the language, oral and written, of the intel 
lect. For carrying on mutually dependent actions it is requisite that 
impulses, adjusted in their kinds, amounts, and times, shall be con 
veyed from part to part. This requisite is fulfilled in living bodies 
by molecular waves, that are indefinitely diffused in low types, and 
in high types are carried along definite channels (the function of which 
has been significantly called internuncial}. It is fulfilled in societies 
by the signs of feelings and thoughts, conveyed from person to person; 
at first in vague ways and only at short distances, but afterward more 
definitely and at greater distances. That is to say, the internuncial 
function, not achievable by stimuli physically transferred, is neverthe 
less achieved by language. 

The mutual dependence of parts which constitutes organization is 
thus effectually established. Though discrete instead of concrete, the 
social aggregate is rendered a living whole. 

But now, on pursuing the course of thought opened by this objec 
tion and the answer to it, we arrive at an implied contrast of great 


significance a contrast fundamentally affecting our idea of the ends 
to be achieved by social life. 

Though the discreteness of a social organism does not prevent sub 
division of functions and mutual dependence of parts, yet it does 
prevent that differentiation by which one part becomes an organ of 
feeling and thought, while other parts become insensitive. High ani 
mals, of whatever class, are distinguished from low ones by complex 
and well-integrated nervous systems. While in inferior types the 
minute scattered ganglia may be said to exist for the benefit of other 
structures, the concentrated ganglia in superior types are the struct 
ures for the benefit of which the rest may be said to exist. Though 
a developed nervous system so directs the actions of the whole body 
as to preserve its integrity, yet the welfare of the nervous system is the 
ultimate object of all these actions, damage to any other organ being 
serious only because it immediately or remotely entails that pain or 
loss of pleasure which the nervous system suffers. But the discrete 
ness of a society negatives differentiations carried to this extreme. 
In an individual organism the minute living units, most of them per 
manently localized, growing up, working, reproducing, and dying away 
in their respective places, are in successive generations moulded to 
their respective functions, so that some become specially sentient and 
others entirely insentient. But it is otherwise in a social organism. 
The units of this, out of contact and much less rigidly held in their 
relative positions, cannot be so much differentiated as to become feel- 
ingless units and units which monopolize feeling. There are, indeed, 
slight traces of such a differentiation. Human beings are unlike in 
the amounts of sensation and emotion producible in them by like 
causes : here great callousness, here great susceptibility, is characteris 
tic. In the same society, even where its members are of the same race, 
and still more where its members are of dominant and subject races, 
there exists a contrast of this kind. The mechanically-working and 
hard-living units are less sensitive than the mentally-working and 
more protected units. But while the regulative structures of the 
social organism tend, like those of the individual organism, to become 
seats of feeling, the tendency is checked by this want of physical co 
hesion which brings fixity of function ; and it is also checked by the 
continued need for feeling in the mechanically-working units for the 
due discharge of their functions. 

Hence, then, a cardinal difference in the two kinds of organisms. 
In the one, consciousness is concentrated in a small part of the aggre 
gate. In the other, it is diffused throughout the aggregate : all the 
units possess the capacities for happiness and misery, if not in equal 
degrees, still in degrees that approximate. As, then, there is no social 
sensorium, it results that the welfare of the aggregate, considered 
apart from that of the units, is not an end to be sought. The society 
exists for the benefit of its members ; not its members for the benefit 


of the society. It has ever to be remembered that great as may be 
the efforts made for the prosperity of the body politic, yet the claims 
of the body politic are nothing in themselves, and become something 
only in so far as they embody the claims of its component individuals. 

From this last consideration, which is a digression rather than a 
part of the argument, let us now return and sum up the various reasons 
for regarding a society as an organism. 

It undergoes continuous growth ; as it grows, its parts, becoming 
unlike, exhibit increase of structure ; the unlike parts simultaneously 
assume activities of unlike kinds ; these activities are not simply dif 
ferent, but their differences are so related as to make one another pos 
sible ; the reciprocal aid thus given causes mutual dependence of the 
parts ; and the mutually-dependent parts, living by and for one an 
other, form an aggregate constituted on the same general principle as 
an individual organism. The analogy of a .society to an organism 
becomes still clearer on learning that every organism of appreciable 
size is a society, and on further learning that, in both, the lives of the 
units continue for some time if the life of the aggregate is suddenly 
arrested, while if the aggregate is not destroyed by violence its life 
greatly exceeds in duration the lives of its units. Though the two are 
contrasted as respectively discrete and concrete, and though there 
results a difference in the ends subserved by the organization, there 
does not result a difference in the laws of the organization : the re 
quired mutual influences of the parts, not transmissible in a direct way, 
being transmitted in an indirect way. 

Having thus considered in their most general forms the reasons for 
regarding a society as an organism, we are prepared for following out 
the comparison in detail. We shall find that the further we pursue it 
the closer does the analogy appear. 



THE only mechanical tools for external use with which man is pro. 
vided by Nature are : the hammer, a compound vise, and a 
scratching or scraping tool ; these are all in the hand. As a vise, the 
hand is worthy of a very lengthened notice ; as a hammer alone it is 
now our concern. While upon a substance softer than itself the fist 
can deal an appreciable blow, with one harder than itself the reaction 
of the substance transfers the blow to the flesh and bone of Nature s 
hammer. Hence early arose the necessity of an artificial hammer of 
stone or other hard substance. 

1 Abstract of three lectures before the London Society of Arts. 


Among the contrivances which have come down to us from the 
ages before history was written, or the use of metals known, are found 
stones shaped, as we may suppose, by the action of water, and so 
rounded as to n t the hand. These stones are called by antiquarians 
" mauls," and they were probably held in the hand and struck against 
objects which otherwise could not have been broken. The maul is the 
original form of the hammer. This maul might occasionally have 
proved too heavy, but more frequently too light. For that tapping 
action which in our minor wants is often more requisite than blows, 
our prehistoric ancestors seem to have devised an ingenious appliance 
consisting of a stone specially prepared for this somewhat delicate 
operation. (Fig. 1.) 


This is supposed to be one of these tapping-hammers, held between 
a finger and the thumb ; the original bears traces of wear, as if it had 
been employed in striking against a cylindrical or sharp surface. 

When, now, we pass from this light to very heavy work, it will be 
obvious that to hold a stone in the hollow of the hand, and to strike an 
object with it so that the reaction of the blow shall be mainly met by the 
muscular action of the back of the hand, and the thinnest section of the 
wrist, would be not only fatiguing, but might be injurious to the deli 
cate network of muscles there found, and so damage this part of the 
hand. It may have been from such effects that even in the Stone age 
there are traces of mauls which have double ends and are held by the 
middle. A blow given by such is counteracted not only by the in 
creased mass of material, but also by the changed position of the hand 
and wrist in relation to the direction of the blow. When held in the 
hollow of the hand, the reaction was met by (say) a depth of tissue of 
about three-quarters of an inch, but, when held as the maul now alluded 
to must have been held, this reaction is met by a depth of tissue of 
about three inches. Hence, while mechanically (owing to the mass of 
stone) and muscularly (owing to the position of the hand in reference 
to the direction of the blow) the maul in this second stage is a decided 
improvement upon its primitive form, we cannot but admit that ex 
perience would soon suggest that even thus there was wanting suffi 
cient energy to overcome reactions, and that the double-headed maul 
might be improved. 


The men of the Stone age early perceived the advantage of having 
a handle of some kind for their mauls, and doubtless their first expe 
dient consisted in lashing withes around such mauls as were found 
suitable, as the blacksmith at the present day lashes withes round the 
heads of his cutting and punching tools and swages. Evidences of a 
further advance toward a perfect hammer are to be seen in stone 
mauls with holes through them suitable for handles ; and these holes 
are in some instances coned, and as well adapted for hammer-handles 
as the best-made metal tools of our day. 


Before inquiring into the reasons which may have led to the adop 
tion of the various materials and forms of hammers now in use, it will 
be well to consider the hammer in, and of, and by itself. We are so 
apt to look upon it as a rude implement, necessarily associated with a 
superior class of finishing-tools, that the materials, forms, and scientific 
principles involved in its construction and use, not only as an adjunct 
to other tools, but as a sole independent and final tool, are much over 

In some handicrafts, and those too involving a high class of finished 
work, the hammer is the only tool employed. That great artistic 


skill in the use of the hammer as a finishing-tool can be acquired, is 
manifest from the many beautiful specimens of r epouss e work to be 
seen in silversmiths shops. The details of the ornamentation are not 
only minute, but they so harmonize as to give elegance and expres 
sion to the whole, exclusive of the form of the articles themselves. 
The variety of shape is mainly produced by changes in the form of 
the " pane " of the hammer and in the weight of it. These changes 
of " pane " are sometimes effected by separating the pane from the 
hammer, and then the separated piece is called a " punch." 

The famous shield of Achilles, in the " Iliad " of Homer, is described 
as the result of hammer-work ; and, though this shield may not have 
been actually fashioned, nevertheless the description gives an idea of 
what a hammer was in early times poetically supposed to be capable 
of accomplishing. The scenes wrought upon the shield of Achilles 
are 1. The earth, sea, and heavenly bodies. 2. In a city at peace 
there are (a.) Marriage festivities ; (6.) Judicial suit or trial. 3. In a 
city at war there are (a.) A scene before the ramparts ; (b.) An ambush 
and surprise ; (c.) A bloody fight. 4. The ploughing of a field. 5. 
The harvest and the meal in preparation. 6. The vintage, with music 
and a march. 7. A herd of cattle attacked by lions. 8. Sheep at 
pasture, and their folds. 9. A dance. 10. The great ocean-river encom 
passing the whole, as, in the mind of Homer, it encompassed the earth. 
For examples of the use of hammers in the production of works of 
great variety and extent on a large scale, see the ancient hammered 
wrought-iron gates, hinges, and panels, in the architectural room in 
the South Kensington Museum ; also the suits of mail and chain-armor 
in the Tower of London ; also the formation of gold-leaf, the springs 
of carriages, and the stiffening of saw-plates. 

FIG. 3. 

FIG. 4. FIG. 5. 



The nature of the work to be done by hammers calls for very great 
differences, not only in the form, material, and weight of the hammer- 
head, but also in the appendages to these. There are the material 


and form of the handles, the angle at which these handles should in 
tersect the axial line of the hammer-head, the position of the centre 
of gravity with respect to the intersection of this axial line, the length 
and elasticity of the handle. If the centre of gravity is not in the 
central line or longitudinal axis of the hammer-head, then there is a 
tendency to bring the hammer down on the edge of the face and not 
on the face. If this defective construction were great, the muscles of 
the wrist might not be strong enough to counteract the tendency. 
If the defective construction is slight, then the work is often marked 
with angular indents. Arrangements, too, may be required for modi 
fying the intensity of the blow, while retaining the effects resulting 
from a heavy hammer where a light one would be inefficient. 

It is curious to see how in the same trade the hammers are for dif 
ferent purposes made of different materials. The engineer, for exam 
ple, uses hammers faced with steel hardened, the stone-breaker (or 
mineralogist) hammers faced with steel softened (or rather not hard 
ened). Again, in another part of his progressive work, the steel ham 
mer with which the engineer commenced his operations gives place to 
a bronze or copper one, and this is sometimes displaced by one of lead 
alloyed with tin, and the handle entirely discarded. 

FIG. 7. 

FIG. a 

FIG. 9. 

FIG. 10. 


The plumber dismisses all these, and for direct action upon the 
material employed in his trade he uses a hammer of wood, discarding 
not only the material but also the form of hammers used in allied 
crafts. Indeed, one of his hammers (Fig. 7) serves a double purpose, 
for, if at one moment it is a hammer, at the next it is used as a swage. 
Fig. 9 is his ordinary hammer, but when carrying on his allied trade 
of a glazier, not content with this, even the handle (Fig. 10) is finished 


in an unusual manner, probably for convenience in holding putty, 
which he often carries " dabbed " on the handle. In some cases, as in 
the working of copper vessels which have been silver-plated or gilt, 
the coats of the precious metals are so thin that, although the weight 
of a hammer-head is required, yet even the wooden hammer of the 
plumber, or the still softer leaden hammer of the engineer, is equally 
unsuitable, and therefore the workers in these metals cover the face 
of their hammers at times with one or more layers of cloth. 

The veneering hammer is compound, one end being formed of 
metal and the other of wood. The metal end is used as a squeezing- 
hammer (if such a term may be employed), and the wooden end as a 
tapping-hammer, to ascertain by the sound produced where the veneer 
ing is adhering and where it is not. 


The stone-mason seems to claim a universal choice. As to mate 
rial, he has and frequently uses hammers made of wood, of iron (steel- 
faced), and of an alloy of lead. 

In some cases the hammer and the anvil mutually change places, 
the hammer of wood, the anvil of metal, or the converse. Nor is the 


wood always of the same character. As varied as are the characters 
of the woods themselves, so varied are those chosen by different crafts 
for the employment of each craft. 

Hammers with and without handles are in use hammers of various 
weights, from half an ounce to ten pounds, and from fifteen to fifty-six 
pounds are now employed as hand-hammers. The angles of attach 

ment of handles to heads are various : the position of the centre of 
gravity of the head in reference to the line of penetration of the handle 

J various; the faces have various convexities; the panes have all 

ranges and forms, from the hemispherical end of the engineer s ham- 

er, and the sharpened end of the pick and tomahawk, to the curved 


sharpened edge of the adze, or the straight convex edge of the hatchet 
and axe ; the panes make all angles with the plane in which the ham 
mer mov 7 es. 




Fig. 16 is a ship-carpenter s hammer-head with claw. It differs 
from ordinary claw-hammers in that the handle is not strapped. In 
some American claw-hammers the strapping is carried up the back and 


front of the hammer. Why this change has been made is not very 
apparent, for by it one strap that nearest the claw is in tension, 
while the other is in compression. With the straps on the sides, as in 
Figs.18, 19, the tension is equal on both. Fig. 15 is a cooper s claw- 


hammer, not strapped. In these cases, if much power is required 
when the claw is used, it should be applied by pressure on the fae- 
end of the hammer as well as upon the handle. 

VOL. IX. 2 


Before considering the elements upon a combination of which the 
powers of hand-hammers depend, it will be well to remark upon the 
circumstances under which this power is actually developed. The 
development takes place at the instant of contact of the moving 
hammer with the struck body. Such contacts as those of hammers 


belong to that department of mechanical philosophy called "impact." 
Impact is pressure of short duration so short that, compared with the 
time in which the velocity of the impinging body is being acquired, 
it is inappreciable ; or, if the comparison be between spaces passed 
through by the hammer-head before impact and during impact, then, 
generally speaking, the disproportion is the same, and the space passed 
through after impact is almost inappreciable when compared with the 
space passed through before impact. 

It may assist in realizing the source as well as the magnitude of 
the power of a hammer, if the dynamical effect of impact be compared 
with what may be called the statical effect of pressure. Let any one 
attempt to drive a nail vertically into an horizontal piece of timber by 
the statical effect of the simple pressure of a load placed gently on the 
head, as weights are laid in scale-pans. Let the depth to which the nail 
is thus moved be measured. Again, let the same nail, under the same 
circumstances, be driven to the same depth by the impact of a ham 
mer-head, then it may for our present purpose be said that the load 
placed on the nail is a representative statical measure of the impact 
of the hammer. 

Now, although in any given case the work in a hammer consequent 
on its mass and velocity may be very great, yet utilizing the whole 
of the work produced in the expenditure of the accumulated power 
in the hammer depends upon the resistance met with at the instant 
of impact. The more perfect this resistance is, the greater will be 
the value of the work done; hence the practice of using massive 
anvils, firmly fixed, and the necessity for staying all vibrations in the 
body struck. Let any one attempt to drive a nail in a board not 
firmly supported, and then by the use of the same means drive a simi 
lar nail into the same board supported, and he will appreciate the im 
portance of resistance to the progress of a hammer s motion if the full 
effect of a blow be desired. 


The only exception to this is to be found in the blows given to 
minerals which are to be cleft, and not crushed. In their case it is 
desired to give only such a blow as shall accomplish the cleaving ; any 
surplusage of energy, if expended on the material, would, of course, 
produce fractures over and above the required cleavage. Provision 
must be made for the dissipation of this superfluous energy, and it is 
done by placing the mineral in an elastic holding, the nature of the 
required elasticity being determined by experience, as different sub 
stances require different elasticities in the supports by which they are 
held for cleavage. Illustrations of the principle here enunciated are 
seen in the breaking of stones on the highway, where the elasticity is 
transferred from the mineral support to the handle of the hammer; 
also in the flaking of flints, where the elasticity is obtained by holding 
the mineral in the hand and supporting it on the knees. The splitting 
of the diamond is a case where these principles and considerations 
claim the greatest care. 

The anvil used by the diamond-splitter is of wood, in shape not 
unlike a ninepin, but tapered at the lower end so as to be placed up 
right in a coned hole in a small block of lead. On the head of the 
ninepin is a flat, on which, by means of cement, the diamond to be 
split can be firmly fixed. Placed here so that the plane of intended 
cleavage shall be vertical when the wooden anvil is in the lead block, 
a deep scratch is made by a second diamond, in which scratch the 
edge of the splitter s chisel is to be planted. The diamond-splitter s 
chisel is very like an old razor. This chisel the workman holds in his 
left hand, in his right he holds that which is his hammer. The hammer 
is a plain steel rod, about eight inches in length, and tapering from 
about half an inch diameter in the middle to three-quarters of an inch 
at the end. The very construction of this peculiar hammer gives the 
operator a large range for precise and graduated blows ; within certain 
limits he can most carefully arrange that the path of the centre of 
percussion, the place of impact, the line bisecting the angle of his 
razor-like chisel, and the expected plane of cleavage of the diamond, 
shall coincide ; hence, with great coolness and the absence of all hesi 
tation, he gives a blow, upon the effect of which many hundreds of 
pounds may depend. 

In dealing with hammers including under that term for the pres 
ent purpose axes, hatchets, adzes, and picks the following question 
claims consideration : What power or energy is in a hammer of known 
weight, moving at a -known velocity, if brought to a state of rest by 
impact on a block ? Another question also suggests itself: Can this 
impact effect of a hammer be converted into simple pressure, and be 
stated as a load or weight placed, where the impact was requisite, to 
produce the same effect as the impact did? If the mode of solving 
the first question can be made clear, then the answer to the second 
can be easilv obtained. The measurable elements which affect the 



result are a variation in the mass of the hammer-head, and a variation 
in the length of the handle. By a varied mass there is a varied weight 
in the hammer; by a varied length of handle there will, with the same 
muscular effort, be a varied velocity in this mass, and upon a combina 
tion of mass and velocity depends the produced energy. Now, if a 
mass of metal, moving at a known velocity, strike an object, the ener 
gy of that blow results entirely from the conditions at the moment 
of impact. For example, the work in the hammer, jET, as it strikes the 
nail, N (Fig. 20), does not depend upon its velocity through the arc, 

FIG. 20. 

Q JV", but only upon the velocity when commencing contact with the 
nail. Hence, so long as the material which gives the blow and the 
mass of it are the same, it is not of any consequence how the velocity 
was accumulated. It may result from centrifugal or rectilinear action 
it may result from muscular effort, or from steam-pressure, or from 

It may now be obvious that, other elements remaining unchanged, 
whatever accelerates the velocity of a hammer increases, according to 
very clear rules, the energy or power of the same hammer. Hence 
the tendency of contrivances, as manifested in the addition to steam 
as well as handicraft hammers ; for example, in the early lift-hammers, 


those which are by many still considered to produce the most per 
fect of hammered work, the " wiper " was so shaped as to throw the 
hammer very high. The ascent- was checked by a powerful spring, 
and thus the. ascensional energy was reversed and added to the accel 
erating force of gravity downward ; and so not only was the intensity 
of the blows increased, but their frequency also. This spring took 
the place of that muscular energy which brought the hammer down 
with intensified effect. 

Hence, also, in steam-hammers, all muscular effect to intensify the 
blow is transferred to the steam, and all consequences of centrifugal 
action, whether from hand or tilt hammers at the ends of arms, are 
removed. Further, in steam-hammers nowadays, the steam operates 
to check as well as to intensify the blow. This checking action is 
called " cushioning," and it seems to do what an elastic handle does 
in a sledge-hammer: it relieves the rigid fabric or erection from jar 
or destruction. " Cushioning " is brought into play by admitting steam 
for the purpose of checking the intensity of the blow due to the action 
of gravity alone, or of steam combining with gravity upon the ham 
mer. Hence the perfect control over large steam or air worked ham 
mers, and the rapidity with which the intensity of the blow may be 
changed. Such control as this over a sledge-hammer is beyond our 
bodily powers. We may intensify the blow, but we cannot, except 
just experimentally, and for the purpose of display, bring the restrain 
ing power of the muscles to diminish the energy of the descending 
hammer. Journal of the Society of Arts. 




DR. CARPENTER is master of the domain which he has appropri 
ated for the last age, that of physiology. He has done more than 
any living man, not exactly to advance, but to combine and expound, 
the discovered truths of his science. But he is ever impelled by his in 
tellectual sharpness and his cultivated tastes to take excursions into 
other regions, and I am not sure whether he has there been so success 
ful. In particular, as dwelling so near the territory of mind, he has ever 
been crossing into it. He has made a very careful survey of the bor 
der-country, and given us the result in his valuable work "Mental 
Physiology." Ever since the paimy days of mesmerism and table- 


turning, he has been enlarging on that "expectancy " and " preposses 
sion " which have been so perverting the vision of many in their ob 
servation of facts. He will not be offended with me if I hint that it is 
just possible that he himself may unconsciously be under the influence 
of these, when, on finding how much can be explained by physiologi 
cal processes, he imagines he can account in the same way for purely 
mental operations. 

On some points Dr. Carpenter has been vigorously opposing the 
materialism of the day : " In reducing the thinking man to the level of 
a puppet, that moves according as its strings are pulled, the material 
istic philosopher places himself in complete antagonism to the positive 
conviction, which, like that of the existence of an external world, is felt 
by every right-minded man, who does not trouble himself by speculat 
ing upon the matter, that he realty does possess a self-determining 
power, which can rise above all the promptings of suggestion, and can, 
within certain limits, mould external circumstances to its own re 
quirements instead of being completely subjugated by them." ("Men 
tal Physiology," 5.) By such utterances, worthy of the son of Lant 
Carpenter, of Bristol, he has gained the confidence of a number of 
anti-materialistic and religious men, who may find, however, that he 
is conducting them into a place between two armies where they are 
exposed to the fire of both. At this point he has been abandoned by 
the disciples of Bain, Huxley, and Tyndall, by M. Ribot, and the 
writers in the Revue /Scientifique, the organ of the school in France 
who wonder that he should stop where he has. For, if material agency 
can generate so much, can account for imagination and genius gener 
ally, can explain our higher intellectual efforts of judgment and rea 
soning, can fashion conscience and gender the obligation of duty and 
the sense of guilt, and our reverence for the unseen and the sublime, 
why may it not also produce will, an operation evidently so swayed by 
causes ? They who follow Dr. Carpenter will soon find that they have 
very insecure footing, and must either go forward and identify will, 
as they do intelligence, with material agency, or retreat so far back 
as to hold that there are many other operations, such as the discern 
ment of higher truth and higher goodness, which cannot be derived 
from atoms. If there be such an agent as will and I agree with Dr. 
Carpenter in thinking that consciousness testifies in its behalf then 
we must provide a compartment for it, and we may place there reason 
and our ideas of the good, the infinite, and the perfect. 

Dr. Carpenter s views of the attributes of the mind seem to me to 
be very inadequate. They were formed about the time when Hart 
ley s " Observations on Man " and James Mill s " Analysis of the Hu 
man Mind" were reckoned the highest authorities among the Unita 
rians who felt Priestley s influence. Dr. Carpenter evidently looks 
upon the operations of the mind as composed of sensations and ide 
ations. His view of both these is very insufficient. In all sense-per- 


ception, there is more than mere sensation considered as a feeling ; 
there is knowledge of something extended. Then along with every 
perception there is consciousness of self as perceiving. According to 
the school of James Mill, sensation is a mere feeling, and ideation is 
a reproduced sensation. Memories, imaginations, conceptions, are all 
ideations ; nay, judgments and reasonings are only combined ideations. 
The sense of duty is the product of association of ideations founded 
on sensations of pleasure and pain. Dr. Carpenter proceeds, in fact, on 
this psychology. But, to his credit, he draws back at a certain point. 
He stands up resolutely for a self-determining will which he places 
above both sensation and ideation. When asked for his proof, he ap 
peals very legitimately to a " conviction " felt by every mind. But a 
like conviction certifies that there is vastly more than he sees in oper 
ations which he has passed over so lightly ; that in memory the idea 
of time is involved, as every thing is remembered as happening in 
time past ; that in imagination there is a wonderful arranging power ; 
in conception, a grouping power ; and in judgment, the discovery of 
relations such as those of identity, of quantity, and cause and effect, 
all diving deep into the depth of things, while the conscience gives us 
an entirely new idea, that of good and evil, and makes us feel that we 
owe duties to God and our fellow-men. He who overlooks these at 
tributes may imagine that he can identify mental operations with 
physiological; but it is simply because he has not noticed the char 
acteristic attributes of the human mind. 

Dr. Carpenter did essential service to science, to religion, and I 
may add to common-sense, by exposing the alleged evidence in behalf 
of mesmerism an-d table-turning. He showed that, in regard to these 
phenomena, there were a " prepossession " and an " expectancy " which 
led persons to believe and affirm, without any valid proof, that they 
witnessed certain actions. I cannot see, however, that Dr. Carpenter 
has here unfolded any new truth, or that he has explained the nature 
of this "expectancy" certainly no light can be thrown upon it by 
physiology. It is to be accounted for by purely mental causes, by a 
hasty judgment into which people are led by the association of ideas, 
guided by the wishes or feelings of the heart. If we have been accus 
tomed to see two tilings together, on one of them presenting itself we 
are apt to look for the other, and believe that this other is present 
when we have no valid proof. It is thus that, associating the standing 
on a steep precipice with a fall, many tremble when placed there, even 
though there be no real danger. It is thus we account for the appar 
ent deception of the senses. We rapidly infer that an object seen 
across an arm of the sea or a level plain is near, following the rule, 
usually correct, that an object is near when there are few visible 
objects between us and it. It is thus that a countryman, seated, 
and, as he feels, at rest, on a vessel leaving the quay, momentarily rea 
sons that the quay is moving, as he has found that when he is at rest 


the object whose image passes over his eye is in motion. It is thus 
that when a person has come to us habitually at a certain hour, say 
the postman to deliver our letters, we may readily take some other 
person who appears at the time for him, and be ready to affirm or to 
swear that we saw him. It is thus that " the wish is father to the 
thought;" that is, we are inclined to believe what we wish and ex 
pect. It is thus, too, that in times of excitement, personal, political, 
and religious, we readily fall in with the fancies created by our fears 
and our hopes. Not only so, but a vivid idea reaching down from the 
brain may produce the same effect on the sensorium as the external 
object does through the sense of sight or hearing. Dr. Carpenter 
has seized an important truth in explaining in this w T ay the erroneous 
declarations given by honest enough persons believing in mesmerism 
and spirit-rapping, and ever seeking for signs and wonders. He is 
right, too, in explaining how strong religious feelings may raise illu 
sory expectations and beliefs, and that the testimony given by per 
sons under their influence may be partial or valueless. 

I think I discover proof that even scientific men may fall under 
the influence of this " prepossession " and " expectancy." I see an 
example of it in the way in which many of them account for our 
thoughts and resolutions : they call them reflex action. The discovery 
of the nature of automatic motion was one of the most important dis 
coveries of the last age. An action goes along a nerve to the centre 
of a ganglion, and comes out in motion by another nerve : thus, if a 
frog s foot is pricked, it is immediately drawn in. Of much the same 
kind is the reflex action of the sensori-motor system. My nostrils are 
affected by a pungent substance, the action goes on to the sensorium, 
and a sneeze is the reult. So far we have a well-understood process. 
But can we go on to explain in this way our special mental acts ? The 
language used by some physiologists is fitted to leave the impression 
that all mental action is the reflex of some action from without, proba 
bly a sensation. Let us look at a case. I receive a letter informing 
me that a friend at a distance is in deep distress, needs me to defend 
him by my presence, my purse, and my counsel, against a. false accu 
sation, and I hasten to his assistance. Is all this merely a reflex ac 
tion called forth by the appeal in the letter ? Let us carefully inquire 
how much and how little physiology can explain. It can show how 
the writing in the letter, after passing through the eye, is reflected on 
the retina, thence carried through the optic nerve to the sensorium, 
thence it may be transmitted to the gray matter at the periphery of 
the brain, and produce there, it may be, some motion or new ar 
rangement of the cells. But it can go no farther. When I under 
stand the letter, when I comprehend the position of my friend, when . 
I conclude that the accusation against him is false, when I feel that I 
ought to assist him, and for this purpose travel a long way and make 
many sacrifices, we have come to processes that cannot be explained 


by any external impulse ; which can as little be accounted for by reflex 
action as they could by gravity or by chemical affinity. Then there 
are cases in which the action originates within, with no prompting 
from without. I awake in the morning and I think and conclude that 
some good cause, the cause of liberty, or of my country, or of religion, 
requires me to take a bold, decisive action, and I hasten to put my 
purpose in execution. How absurd to call this, with some physiolo 
gists, a reflex action ! That able men should have fallen into this error 
can only be accounted for by a law of " expectancy ; " they have ex 
plained so much by their law, and they think that they can explain 

Dr. Carpenter has unfolded, as Hume had done a century ago, the 
tendencies which predispose man to believe in preternatural occur 
rences. But are there no " prepossessions " and " expectations " which 
incline some scientific men in the present day to account for all things 
by natural agency, and prejudice them against calling in any thing 
preternatural ? The business of science is to look into the causes of 
obvious or recondite phenomena, and, proceeding in the right method, 
they have discovered the natural causes of events which many re 
garded as supernatural. The men who have explained lightning 
and mysterious diseases, and resolved light into vibrations, and 
detected the composition of the sun s atmosphere, and of the distant 
stars, are led to spurn at the very idea of there being any thing which 
cannot be accounted for by mundane agency. Then they have seen, 
or heard, or read, of so many cases of religious pretension and impost 
ure that they at once set down every reported case of divine inter 
position to illusion or delusion. Some have gone the length of main 
taining that a miracle is not only an improbability, but an impossi 
bility. A " prepossession " is produced, an " expectancy " is created, 
that the miracles of Scripture may be solved by some natural means. 
In the last age Paulus labored to prove that Jesus accomplished his 
cures by taking advantage of the secret agencies of Nature. But this 
theory has long ago been set aside by every one as inconsistent with 
the training, the position, and known character of Jesus. Then the 
mythic theory was started and stretched to its utmost capacity by 
Strauss ; but it has been shown that no myths ever had the con 
sistency, the purity, the spirituality of the gospel narratives, parables, 
and doctrines. Now it is averred that historical proof is wanting of 
the early date of the books of the New Testament. This objection 
has been met already by the great scholars of Germany, and is being 
met by Dr. Lightfoot and others among English-speaking divines. 
It is shown and is admitted that some of the epistles of Paul must 
have been written by their reputed author, and that they presuppose 
a belief throughout the Church of the leading events in Christ s life, 
and of a perfected system of evangelical belief. If. the epistles are 
genuine, so must be the correlated Book of Acts, with its wonderful 


story of the spread of the gospel, the only "working hypothesis " to 
explain the facts. The synoptics bear internal marks of being genu 
ine ; give a consistent tale to account for the state of things as detailed 
by Paul and the Book of Acts; and have external testimony accumu 
lating in their favor, derived especially from the controversies with 
the early heretics. Even John s gospel is brought within a hundred 
years of our Lord s death, almost certainly in the first century, is 
shown to be as little inconsistent with the synoptics as Plato s Socra 
tes is with Xenophon s Socrates, and breathes an air so superior to 
that of the Apostolic Fathers, that we see the one to be heaven-de 
scended, the other to be the product of imperfect human nature at a 
time when the minds of Christians were saturated with divine truth. 
It is clear that the "expectancy" of accounting for the life of Christ 
by human causes has not yet been realized. " The Bible," as Beza 
said, "is an anvil which has worn out many hammers." 

Every one knows that all men, scientific and unscientific, are lia 
ble to be swayed by prejudice, and Dr. Carpenter has not been able 
to throw much light on this subject by physiology. Even mathema 
ticians may have their " personal equation." Philosophers, so called, 
and scientists have fallen under the influence of the idols of Bacon, 
and not a few other idols which have been set up since his time. His 
torical investigators, judges, and juries, are all aware of its existence, 
and should guard against it. We meet with it in our daily inter 
course with our fellow-men, and make allowance for it. We see it in the 
village parties, in political contests, and in the rivalries of rank and 
trade. To every reality there is a counterfeit ; corresponding to ev 
ery truth there is a false appearance ; if there be one Jehovah, there 
are many idols. Many, when they look to the dust of the conflict, 
are tempted to conclude that Truth cannot be found. But, notwith 
standing all this, Truth can be found and won by those who court her 
in the right manner and the right spirit. It is to be remembered, 
however, that while we are required to demand evidence before yield 
ing our conviction, all evidence is not of the same kind. " I receive 
mathematics," said Goethe, " as the most sublime and useful science 
as long as they are applied in their proper place ; but I cannot com 
mend the misuse of them in matters which do not belong to their 
sphere, and in which, noble science as they are, they seem to be mere 
nonsense, as if, forsooth, things only exist when they can be mathe 
matically demonstrated ! It would be foolish for a man not to believe 
in his mistress s love because she could not prove it to him mathemati 
cally. She can mathematically prove her dowry, but not her love." 
Some scientists in our day are insisting that every thing, even in his 
tory, morals, and religion, is to be settled by experiment and calcu 
lation, and would place all truth under the microscope subject it to 
the blowpipe, and express it in statistics and they do not see that 
the highest truth escapes in the process. The defenders of religion 


maintain that in religion a sincere mind will discover the truth with 
or without scientific knowledge. Many believe that John Bunyan saw 
as far into spiritual matters as even Newton or Locke, and much far 
ther than Laplace ever did. Some of the highest statesmen and law 
yers in Great Britain imagined that they could get more good from 
the direct and homely appeals of Moody than from those select dilet- 
tant meetings in London of savants and litterateurs who have aban 
doned Christianity, and are seeking to catch some higher religion 
which evanishes as they would lay hold of it. 

Everybody acknowledges that all witnesses are not to be trusted ; 
yet in the common affairs of life, in trials, in history, we do find tes 
timony which we implicitly believe. To the great body even of edu 
cated men, scientific knowledge depends on the trustworthiness of 
those who have made the observations and experiments. Notwith 
standing all their preconceptions, there are declarations of men of 
science as to matters of fact which we can trust ; and it would be a 
violation of their whole nature, in fact it would be a miracle, were they 
to deceive us. Dr. Carpenter is entitled to credit for having helped 
to expose the fooleries and the rogueries of spirit-rapping, rope-tying, 
and of levitation. But he seems to think that it is possible by the 
same method to undermine the miracles of the Old and New Testa 
ments. All who have inquired carefully into the subject see that the 
testimony in favor of spiritualistic manifestations cannot stand the 
common tests of evidence. But it has been maintained by many of 
the greatest and most sagacious minds, and by the highest moral 
minds which our world has produced, that the testimony in behalf of 
the essential events of the New Testament cannot be set aside with 
out undermining the whole of ancient history. Even at first sight the 
spiritual seances and performers have no moral prestige in their favor. 
The products are unworthy of God, and inconsistent with his mode c 
operation in Nature. We can discover motives enough to iiulu 
them to act as they do such as the desire to create wonder with 
some the hope of getting money. How different with our Lord, who, 
so far from taking advantage of the wonder-loving spirit of the Je 
actually restrained it ! The wonders of the spiritualists are perfo 
in rooms prepared for the purpose or in darkness, whereas 
acles of our Lord were performed in open day, in unexpect 
stances, and before all men. Then the whole teaching of Jesi 
totally above and altogether opposed to the spirit of his age anc 
tion, and only exposed him and his followers to opprobrium, po^ 

and suffering. 

But Dr. Carpenter has discovered that there is no stronger evi 
dence in behalf of the events of our Lord s life than we have in ft 
the miracles attributed to St. Columba. This is a proof that, ai 
multifarious employments, Dr. Carpenter has not carefully s -veyed 
or minutely examined the whole body of Christian evidences. 


only original life of Columba is the " Yita " of Abbot Adamnan, written 
about one hundred years after the saint s death. All that it proves is, 
that at the time the life was written Columba was believed to have 
wrought miracles. But there is satisfactory proof that the first gos 
pels were written while many who had seen the events were still 
alive. The account given by the abbot was all in accordance with 
the popular belief, and had not, like the earlier Christian records, to 
encounter the hostile criticism of keen and able opponents. The 
voice of the Irish dove was a very, pleasant one, but all the good 
words uttered were got from him on whom the spirit alighted as a 
dove. We have no utterances of his to be compared with the teach 
ings of our Lord and his disciples. Then we have no record of such 
lives and sacrifices as are described in the letter of Pliny the Younger 
in A. D. 112. Nor have we such corroborations as the Book of Acts, 
such original productions as the Epistles of Paul, such a mighty re 
sult as Christianity with its influence over the world, over its educa 
tion and its civilization, for the last eighteen hundred years. 

Dr. Carpenter quotes Locke as saying that we are to regard the 
doctrine as proving the miracle rather than the miracle proving the 
doctrine. Locke believed both the doctrine and the miracle. Dr. 
Carpenter does not tell us whether he believes either. He does not 
say whether he looks on the doctrine as proving the miracle. The 
wisest defenders of Christianity have always combined the two, the 
lofty teaching and the high morality, with the attested supernatural 
action. In estimating the validity of even common testimony we 
combine the character of the witness with the facts to which he de 
pones. We look to his manner of testifying, to the consistency and 
transparency of his statements, even to the name he has borne among 
his associates and the motives by which he may have been swayed. 
So in weighing the evidence we have for Christianity we are entitled 
to combine the truth testified to with the testimony. We do not 
choose to separate the record of miracles in Matthew from the Sermon 
on the Mount. We are prepared to believe that he who uttered those 
bold and transparently sincere and pure precepts could not have been 
guilty of deceit. It is clear that Jesus claimed supernatural power. If 
there be any truth at all in the accounts of him, in fact, if there ever 
was such a person as Jesus, it is clear that he claimed to work miracles. 
His claims are found imbedded in the heart of discourses which con 
tain his loftiest ideas, moral and spiritual, far beyond the concep 
tion of the evangelists or the early Christian writers. His discourses 
are, in fact, his greatest miracle. His acts and words are like the 
warp and woof of his garment, which is woven throughout and can 
not be divided. 

The doctrines, the precepts, the providential occurrences, the mir 
acles, constitute a system quite as much as the Cosmos does. In this 
system one part supports another, each helps to bear up the whole, and 


the whole makes every part cohere. He who assails Christianity Las 
to attack a phalanx. The pure morality fits in to the character of 
God, revealed as a spirit, revealed as light, revealed as love. The 
miracles, being almost all of them meant to remove evil, most of them 
to heal diseases, adapt themselves to the manifest disorder in the 
world, to our consciousness of sin, and the doctrine which reveals an 
atonement. The supernatural system is higher than the natural, but 
it is in accordance with it. The higher joins on beautifully to the 
lower quite as fittingly as vegetable life superinduces itself on inani 
mate Nature, as animal life completes vegetable life, as the soul fits 
into the body. Science and philosophy may not be able to go back 
to a beginning, but they require a source. It is not more certain that 
" ex nihilo nihil fit " than it is that what produces must have power to 
produce. AIL these later discussions as to force and cause show that 
there must be some intimate connection between the effect and its 
cause. Mayer wrought out the grand doctrine of the conservation 
of force by the principle that " cause equals effect." This is not, 
as it appears to me, the correct expression of the law, but it points 
to a deep law lying at the basis of that development which men 
are studying so eagerly in the present day. All that is in the effect 
has come from the causes it may be the successive causes. We 
are thus carried back to an inherent power, not created by develop 
ment, but the source or spring of development. This source may 
surely be declared supernatural. The Bible simply speaks of the con 
tinuance of that supernatural in revelation and in inspiration. This 
supernatural is not inconsistent with the natural; it is the comple 
ment of it. The higher world overarches the lower world as the sky 
does the earth. The world to come consummates what is begun in 
the present world provides a place for the immortal soul, arid for the 
body raised to join it. 

The conclusion of the whole matter is, that we are to weigh the 
evidence in behalf of revelation in the same way as we weigh any 
other evidence, laying aside all " prepossessions " and " expectancies " 
for and against supernaturalism ; and that the evidence for Christian 
ity, so large, so varied, so compact, is not to be summarily set aside 
by any physiological doctrine sufficient to explain mesmerism and 






SECTION 8. Electrics and Non- Electrics. For a long period, 
bodies were divided into electrics and. non-electrics, the former 
deemed capable of being electrified, the latter not. Thus the amber 
of the ancients, and the spars, gems, fossils, stones, glasses, and resins, 
operated on by Dr. Gilbert, were electrics, while all the metals were 
non-electrics. We must now determine the true meaning of this dis 

Take in succession a ball of brass, of wood coated with tin-foil, a 
lead bullet, and an apple, in the hand, and strike them briskly with 
silk, flannel, or the fox s brush ; none of them will attract the balanced 
lath (Fig. 4), or show any other symptom of electric excitement. All 
of them, therefore, would have been once called non-electrics. 

But suspend succession by a string of silk held in the hand, 
and strike them again ; every one of them will now attract the lath. 

Reflect upon the meaning of this experiment. We have introduced 
an insulator the silk string between the hand and the body struck, 
and we find that by its introduction the non-electric has been con 
verted into an electric. 

The meaning is obvious. When held in the hand, though elec 
tricity was developed in each case by the friction, it passed imme 
diately through the hand and body to the earth. This transfer being 
prevented by the silk, the electricity, once excited, is retained, and 
the attraction of the lath is the consequence. 

In like manner, a brass tube, held in the hand and struck with a 
fox s brush, shows no attractive power ; but when a stick of sealing- 
wax, ebonite, or gutta-percha, is thrust into the tube as a handle, the 
striking of the tube at once develops the power of attraction. 

And now you see, more clearly than you did at first, the meaning 
of the experiment with the heated foolscap and India-rubber. Paper 
and wood always imbibe a certain amount of moisture from the air. 
When the rubber was passed over the cold paper, electricity was 
excited, but the paper, being rendered a conductor by its moisture, 
allowed the electricity to pass away. 

Prove all things. Lay your cold foolscap on a cold board, sup 
ported by warm dry tumblers ; pass your India-rubber over the pa 
per ; lift it by a loop of silk, for if you touch it it will discharge itself. 

1 A course of six lectures, with simple experiments in frictional electricity, before 
juvenile audiences during the Christmas holidays. 


You will find it electric ; and with it you can charge your electro 
scope, or attract from a distance your "balanced lath. 

The human body was ranked among the non-electrics. Make plain 
to yourself the reason. Stand upon the floor and permit a friend to 
strike you briskly with the fox s brush. Present your knuckle to the 
balanced lath, you will find no attraction. Here, however, you stand 
upon the earth, so that even if electricity had been developed, there 
is nothing to hinder it from passing away. 

But, place upon the ground four warm glass tumblers, and upon 
the tumblers a board. Stand upon the board, and present your 
knuckle to the lath. A- single stroke of the fox s fur, if skillfully 
given, will produce attraction. If you stand upon a cake of resin, 
of ebonite, or upon a sheet of good India-rubber, the effect will be 
the same. 

Throw a mackintosh over your shoulders, and let a friend strike it 
with the fox s brush, the attractive force is greatly augmented. 

After brisk striking, present your knuckle to the knuckle of your 
friend. A spark will pass between you. 

This experiment with the mackintosh further illustrates what you 
have already frequently observed, namely, that it is not friction alone, 
but the friction of special substances against each other, that produces 

Thus we prove that non-electrics, like electrics, can be excited, the 
condition of success being, that an insulator shall be interposed be 
tween the non-electric and the earth. It is obvious that the old divis 
ion into electrics and non-electrics really meant a division into insu 
lators and conductors. 

SEC. 9. Discovery of Two Electricities. We have hitherto dealt 
almost exclusively with electric attractions, but, in an experiment al 
ready referred to, Otto von Guericke observed the repulsion of a 
feather by his sulphur globe. I also anticipated matters in the use of 
our Dutch gold electroscope, where the repulsion of the leaves in 
formed us of the arrival of the electricity. 

Du Fay, who was the real discoverer here, found a gold-leaf float 
ing in the air to be at first attracted and then repelled by the same 
excited body. He proved that when it was repelled by rubbed glass, 
it was attracted by rubbed resin and that when it was repelled by 
rubbed resin, it was attracted by rubbed glass. Hence the important 
announcement, by Du Fay, that there are two kinds of electricity. 

The electricity excited on the glass was for a time called vitreous 
electricity while that excited on the sealing-wax was called resinous 
electricity. These terms are, however, improper ; because, by chang 
ing the rubber, we can obtain the electricity of sealing-wax upon glass, 
and the electricity of glass upon sealing-wax. 

Roughen, for example, the surface of your glass tube, and rub^it 
with flannel, the electricity of sealing-wax will be found upon the vit- 


reous surface. Rub your sealing-wax with vulcanized India-rubber, 
the electricity of glass will be found upon the resinous surface. 

We now use the term positive electricity to denote that developed 
on glass by the friction of silk ; and negative electricity to denote that 
developed on sealing-wax by the friction of flannel. These terms are 
adopted purely for the sake of convenience. There is no reason in 
Nature why the resinous electricity should not be called positive, and 
the vitreous electricity negative. Once agreed, however, to apply the 
terms as here fixed, we must adhere to this agreement throughout. 

SEC. 10. Fundamental Law of Electric Action. In all the expeii- 
ments which we have hitherto made, one of- the substances has been 
electrified by friction, and the other not. But, once engaged in inqui 
ries of this description, questions incessantly occur to the mind, the 
answering of which extends our knowledge, and suggests other ques 
tions. Suppose, instead of exciting only one -of the bodies presented 
to each other, we were to excite both of them, what would occur ? 
This is the question which was asked and answered by Du Fay, and 
which we must answer for ourselves. 

Here your wire loop (Fig. 1), comes again into play. Place an 
unrubbed gutta-percha tube, or a stick of sealing-wax, in the loop, 
and be sure that it is unrubbed that no electricity adheres to it from 
former experiments. If it fail to attract light bodies, it is unexcited ; 
if it attract them, pass your hand over it several times, or, better still, 
pass it over or through the flame of a spirit-lamp or candle. This 
will remove every trace of electricity. Attract the unrubbed gutta- 
percha tube by a rubbed one. 

Remove the unrubbed tube from the loop, and excite it with its 
flannel rubber. One end of the tube is held in your hand, and is there 
fore unexcited. Return the tube to the loop, keeping your eye upon 
the excited end. Bring a second rubbed tube near the excited end 
of the suspended one : strong repulsion is the consequence. Drive the 
suspended tube round and round by this force of repulsion. 

Bring a rubbed glass tube near the excited end of the gutta-percha 
tube : strong attraction is the result. 

Repeat this experiment step by step with two glass tubes. Prove 
that the rubbed glass tube attracts the unrubbed one. Remove the 
unrubbed tube from the loop, excite it by its rubber, return it to the 
loop, and establish the repulsion of glass by glass. Bring rubbed 
gutta-percha or sealing-wax near the rubbed glass : strong attraction 
is the consequence. 

These experiments lead us directly to the fundamental law of elec 
tric action, which is this : Bodies charged with the same electricity 
repel each other, while bodies charged with opposite electricities 
attract each other. Positive repels positive, and attracts negative. 
Negative repels negative, and attracts positive. 

Devise experiments which shall still further illustrate this funda- 


mental law. Repeat, for example, Otto von Guericke s experiment. 
Hang a feather by a silk thread, and bring your rubbed glass tube 
near it : the feather is attracted, touches the rod, charges itself with 
the electricity of the rod, and is then repelled. Cause it to retreat 
from the rod in various directions. 

Hang your feather by a common thread : if no insulating substance 
intervenes between the feather and the earth, you can get no repul 
sion. Why ? you ought to be able to answer. Obviously it is be 
cause the charge of positive electricity communicated by the rod is 
not retained by the feather, but passes away to the earth. Hence, 
you have not positive acting against positive at all. Why you should 
have the attraction of the neutral body by the electrified one will, as 
already stated, appear by-and-by. 

Attract your straw needle by your rubbed glass rod. Let the 
straw strike the rod, so that the one shall rub against the other. The 
straw accepts the electricity of the rod, and repulsion immediately 
follows attraction, as shown in Fig. 7. 

Mr. Cottrell has devised the simple electroscope represented in 
Fig. 8 to show repulsion. A is a stem of sealing-wax, with a small 
circle of tin, T, at the top. TFis a bent wire proceeding from T, with 
a small disk attached to it by wax. // is a little straw index, sup 
ported by the needle, N", as shown in the figure. The stem, A, is not 
quite vertical, the object being to cause the bit of paper, J, to rest 
close to W when the apparatus is not electrified. When electricity 
is imparted to T, it flows through the wires, TFand w, over both disk 
and index : immediate repulsion of the straw is the consequence. 

No better experiment can be made to illustrate the self-repulsive 
character of electricity than the following one : Heat your square 
board again, and warm, as before, your sheet of foolscap. Spread 
the paper upon the board, and excite it by the friction of India-rub 
ber. Cut from the sheet two long strips with your penknife. Hold 
the strips together at one end. Separate them from the board, and 

VOL. IX. 3 



lift them into the air : they forcibly drive each other apart, producing 
a wide divergence. 

Cut several strips, so as to form a kind of tassel. Hold them to 
gether at one end. Separate them from the board, and lift them into 
the air : they are driven asunder by the self-repellent electricity, pre- 

FIG. 8. 

senting an appearance which may remind you of the hair of Medusa. 
The effect is represented in Fig. 9. 

And now you must learn to determine with certainty the quality 
of the electricity with which any body presented to you may be 
charged. You see immediately that attraction is no sure test, because 
unelectrified bodies are attracted. Further on you will be able to 
grapple with another possible source of error in the employment of 

FIG. 9. 

In determining quality, you must ascertain, by trial, the kind of 
electricity by which the charged body is repelled ; if, for example, 
any electrified body repel, or is repelled by, sealing-wax rubbed with 


flannel, the electricity of the body is negative ; if it repel, or is re 
pelled by, glass, rubbed with silk, its electricity is positive. Du Fay 
had the sagacity to propose this mode of testing quality. 

Apply this test to the strips of foolscap paper excited by the In 
dia-rubber. Bring a rubbed gutta-percha tube near the electrified 
strips, you have strong attraction. Bring a rubbed glass tube be 
tween the strips, you have strong repulsion and augmented diver 
gence. Hence, the electricity, being repelled by the positive glass, is 
itself positive. 

SEC. 11. Double or " Polar" Character of the Electric Force. We 
have examined the action of each kind of electricity upon itself, and 
upon the other kind ; but hitherto we have kept the rubber out of 
view. One of the questions which inevitably occur to the inquiring 
scientific mind would be, How is the rubber affected by the act of 
friction ? Here, as elsewhere, you must examine the subject for your 
self, and base your conclusions on the facts you establish. 

Test your rubber, then, by your balanced lath. The lath is attract 
ed by the flannel, which has rubbed against gutta-percha ; and it K 
attracted by the silk, which has rubbed against glass. 

Regarding the quality of the electricity of the flannel or of the 
silk, the attraction of the lath teaches you nothing. But, suspend 
your rubbed glass tube, and bring the flannel rubber near it: repul 
sion follows. The silk rubber, on the contrary, attracts the glass 
tube. Suspend your rubbed gutta-percha tube, and bring the silk 
rubber near it : repulsion follows. The flannel, on the contrary, at 
tracts the tube. 

The conclusion is obvious : the electricity of the flannel is posi 
tive, that of the silk is negative. 

But the flannel is the rubber of the gutta-percha, whose electrici 
ty is negative ; and the silk is the rubber of the glass, whose elec 
tricity is positive. Consequently, we have not only proved the rub 
ber to be electrified by the friction, but also proved the electricity 
of the rubber to be opposite in quality to that of the body rubbed. 

SEC. 12. What is Electricity? Thus far we have proceeded from 
fact to fact, acquiring knowledge of a very valuable kind. But facts 
alone cannot satisfy us. We seek a knowledge of the principles 
which lie behind the facts, and which are to be discerned by the mind 
alone. Thus, having spoken, as we have done, of electricity passing 
hither and thither, and of its being prevented from passing, hardly 
any thoughtful boy or girl can avoid asking, What is it that thus 
passes? what is electricity? Boyle and Newton betrayed their 
need of an answer to this question when the one imagined his unc 
tuous threads issuing from and returning to the electrified body, and 
when the other imagined that an elastic fluid existed which penetrated 
his rubbed glass. 

When I say " imagined " I do not intend to represent the not 


of these great men as vain fancies. Without imagination we can do 
nothing here. By imagination I mean the power of picturing men 
tally things which have an existence as real as that of the world 
around us, but which cannot be touched directly by the gross bodily 
organs of sense. I mean the purified scientific imagination, without 
the exercise of which we cannot take a single step into the region of 
causes and principles. 

It was by the exercise of the scientific imagination that Franklin 
devised the theory of a single electric fluid to explain electrical phe 
nomena. This fluid he supposed to be self-repulsive, and diffused in 
definite quantities through all bodies. He supposed that when a 
body has more than its proper share it is positively, when less than 
its proper share it is negatively, electrified. It was by the exercise 
of the same faculty that Symmer devised the theory of two electric 
fluids, each self-repulsive, but both mutually attractive. 

At first sight Franklin s theory seems by far the simpler of the two. 
But its simplicity is only apparent. For, though Franklin assumed 
only one fluid, he was obliged to assume three distinct actions. Two 
of these were the mutual repulsion of the electric particles among 
themselves, and the mutual attraction of the electric particles and the 
ponderable particles of the body through which the electricity is dif 
fused. These two assumptions, moreover, when strictly followed out, 
lead to the unavoidable conclusion that the material particles must 
also mutually repel each other. Thus the theory is by no means so 
simple as it appears. 

The theory of Symmer, though at first sight the most complicated, 
is in reality by far the simpler of the two. According to it electrical 
actions are produced by two fluids, each self-repulsive, but both mu 
tually attractive. These fluids cling to the atoms of matter, and 
carry the matter to which they cling along with them. Every body, 
in its natural condition, possesses both fluids in equal quantities. As 
long as the fluids are mixed together they neutralize each other, the 
body in which they are thus mixed being in its natural or unelectrical 

By friction (and by various other means) these two fluids may be 
torn asunder, the one clinging by preference to the rubber, the other 
to the body rubbed. 

According to this theory there must always be attraction between 
the rubber and the body rubbed, because, as we have proved, they 
are oppositely electrified. This is in fact the case. And mark what 
I now say. Over and above the common friction, this electrical at 
traction has to be overcome whenever we rub glass with silk, or seal 
ing-wax with flannel. 

You are too young to fully grasp this subject yet ; and indeed it 
would lead us too far away to enter fully into it. But I will throw 
out for future reflection the remark that the overcoming of the ordi- 


nary friction produces heat then and there upon the surfaces rubbed, 
while the force expended in overcoming the electric attraction may 
be converted into a spark which shall appear a thousand miles away 
from the place where it was generated. 

Theoretic conceptions are incessantly checked and corrected by 
the advance of knowledge, and this theory of electric fluids is doubt 
ed by many eminent scientific men. It will, at all events, have to be 
translated into a form which shall connect it with heat and light, be 
fore it can be accepted as complete. Nevertheless, keeping ourselves 
unpledged to the theory, we shall find it of exceeding service both in 
unraveling and in connecting together electrical phenomena. 




year 1875 completed the third quarter of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, a period distinguished by the activity which has prevailed 
in every branch of scientific inquiry, but particularly distinguished as 
a remarkable period of geographical exploration and discovery. 

The history of geographical knowledge is a history of its rapid 
acquisition in periods very limited in point of time, but of great activ 
ity, and of long intervals of repose, in which comparatively little was 
done, or a great deal lost that had been previously acquired. For 
the last twenty-five years we have been living in one of those periods 
of exceptional activity, for at no time has an interest so wide-spread 
been manifested for geographical exploration since that great age of 
maritime discovery, that began in the early part of the fifteenth cen 
tury with the exploration of the western coast of Africa by the Por 
tuguese, and culminated in the circumnavigation of the globe by 
Magellan. The comparatively small limits of about a century is all 
that is embraced from the time (1418), when Prince Henry of Portu 
gal, surnamed the Navigator, took up his abode upon the promontory 
of Sagres to devote the residue of his life to the fitting out of expedi 
tions for the exploration of the coast of Africa beyond Cape Boj:ulor, 
a region then wholly unknown, and the year 1519, when Magellan 
entered the Pacific by the discovery of the straits that bear his name. 
Within that period the captains of Prince Henry had sailed around 
the continent of Africa; Columbus had discovered America; his com 
panion, Nunez de Balboa, the Pacific ; Sebastian Cabot had followed 

1 From advance-sheets (introductory portion) of the President s annual address be 
fore the American Geographical Society, on " The Geographical Work of the World in 



the coast of North America to the sixty-seventh parallel of north lati 
tude; and Magellan s vessel the Vittoria, after sailing around the 
world, had returned in 1522 to San Lucar, in Spain, the port whence 
she set out. 

The century that followed this period of discovery was occupied 
with the more particular exploration and settlement of the regions 
thus brought to the knowledge of mankind, and with the labors of 
geographers and cartographers in arranging the great mass of new 
materials into a reconstructed system of geography. With the ex 
ception of fruitless efforts to discover, in the interest of commerce, a 
northeast or a northwest passage to the Indies around the northern 
part of the globe, or directly across the pole, the zeal for geographi 
cal discovery abated through the seventeenth and eighteenth centu 
ries ; the world being sufficiently occupied with what it had already 
acquired, either in building up great empires in the newly-discovered 
continents of North and South America, or by extending the rule of 
maritime nations over the coast of Africa, and the remoter parts of 
Asia, as in the settlement of the colonies established by the Portu 
guese, and by the British conquest of India. In fact, so large a por 
tion of the earth s surface had become known within so short a period, 
that it presented enough to absorb all the activity of civilized nations 
for three centuries in the work of colonization, settlement, or con 

It was not until near the middle of the nineteenth century when 
this great work had produced its results in the establishment of such 
nations as the United Sta.tes, Mexico, the republics of Central Amer 
ica, Brazil, the other states of South America, and of a vast dominion 
under British rule in India, and by the extension of Russia over a 
large part of Northern Asia, that the attention of mankind was again 
drawn to the yet undiscovered or imperfectly known portions of the 
earth, and a new interest awakened in geographical exploration and 
discovery. This may be said to have begun with the founding of a 
Geographical Society in Paris, in 1821 ; of another in Berlin, in 1828, 
and the establishment of the Royal Geographical Society of London, 
in 1830. These societies were formed to cultivate the science of 
geography in a more comprehensive spirit, to facilitate the acquisi 
tion of geographical information by the establishment of libraries, to 
disseminate it by publications, and to encourage and assist scientific 
travelers and explorers. Like all new things, however, it was some 
years before these societies produced any effect, or the world recog 
nized the value -of the purpose for which they were established; 
whereas the results which have since been brought about, chiefly 
through the instrumentality of such institutions, are beyond anything 
which the most sanguine of their projectors could have anticipated. 

The Royal Geographical Society of London may be taken as an 
illustration of these societies. It has now 3,035 fellows, each paying 


2 a year, a large permanent capital, and an annual income of $35,000. 
It has a building of its own, a fine library and map room, and is able to 
send, and has frequently sent out expeditions for geographical explora 
tion and discovery, sometimes in cooperation with the government, 
and sometimes without it. Before, however, it reached this state it 
had, as I have been informed, to struggle for some years, as we have 
had, to keep up its organization. The turning-point of its history, 
and in its influence, appears to have been the election, in 1843, of Sir 
Roderick I. Murchison to the presidency, then in the fullness of h>s 
fame as a geologist, but who thenceforth entered upon a new field, and 
one by which he was afterward chiefly known. In his first annual ad 
dress, an elaborate and exhaustive production, he surveyed the then 
state of geographical research throughout the world, and pointed 
out with remarkable sagacity that the parts of the globe to which 
exploration and research should be directed and concentrated were 
central Africa, Australia, and the regions surrounding the north 
and south poles. Although his own fame had been made as a geolo 
gist, his course then and during the many years that he was the 
guiding spirit of the Royal Geographical Society showed very plainly 
his conviction that a thorough knowledge of the surface of our own 
planet, and of those physical laws that affect everything upon it, is 
practically of more importance to us than a knowledge of its past 
physical history or of other bodies in space. 

It was not that he undervalued the sciences of geology and astron- 
omy, which, in fact, form a part of the science of geography ; but the 
earth is our own planet, the details of which are within our grasp, and 
there is therefore the greater reason why every effort should be di 
rected to acquire a thorough knowledge of it, particularly as the in 
crease of that knowledge requires widely-extended efforts over differ 
ent parts of it, and a vast accumulation of details. I am not now ex 
pressing anything he may have said, but rather deducing my own 
conclusions of what he thought from what he did. He was evidently 
impressed with the conviction that sufficient attention was not then 
given to the advancement of the science of geography, and to his emi 
nently practical mind it was clear that it was not to be advanced by 
simply studying it in the closet, but by explorations and scientific re 
searches, requiring persistent efforts, continuous expenditures, and the 
labors of a numerous, zealous, and intelligent class of workers over a: 
large part of the earth s surface. To accomplish this, the whole age 
had to be influenced, governments enlisted, and the different so<> 
brought into active cooperation with each other, and it was to this 
work that Sir Roderick then set himself, and to which he may be said 
to have chiefly devoted the remainder of his life. 

I have selected Sir Roderick Murchison rather as a type, for it was 
not to him alane, but to many other eminent men in France,.Ger- 
inany, Russia, Italy, and other countries, preeminent among 


was Alexander von Humboldt, that the conviction became general 
that the unknown, or imperfectly known, parts of the earth should be 
thoroughly investigated, and scientific researches actively prosecuted 
in respect to all phenomena coming under the general head of phys 
ical geography. This has, in fact, brought about, as I have said, a 
geographical age. There are now scattered over the globe thirty-four 
geographical societies, and, if we add other organizations devoted in 
part to geographical inquiry or labors, the number would be augment 
ed to about fifty. Many of them are well endowed, large in point of 
numbers, and strengthened not only by the cooperation of, but by an 
nual grants of money from, the governments of the countries in which 
they are situated. 

How thoroughly this spirit was aroused, will appear by a brief, 
but necessarily imperfect, statement of what has been accomplished 
since this movement began. 

When it commenced, the map of Africa was, with the exception of 
the northwestern projection, above the Gulf of Guinea, and the Nile 
region, almost a blank from the Mediterranean to the country in the 
vicinity of the Cape of Good Hope. Of the 17,000,000 of square miles 
in Asia, about 12,000,000 were either entirely unknown, or wholly cut 
off from all intercourse with mankind. The condition of Australia, 
with an area of 3,000,000 of square miles, is best expressed by quoting 
the language of a geographer of that day. " A corner of this huge 
mass of land," he says, "is all that is known." Twenty-five years ago 
the European population of Australia was estimated at about 50,000 ; 
it is now over 1,500,000, or thirty times as great. 

The second island in point of size, and one of the most fruitful in 
the world, Papua, or New Guinea, is referred to by the same geogra 
pher Murray, as almost a terra incognita, having generally, he then 
said, " been viewed only by navigators from a distance ; " and in re 
spect to the next great island, Borneo, he puts the population of the 
colonies there under the Dutch at about 9,000. In 1870 the popula 
tion of the Dutch colonies in Borneo was 189,253. The settled por 
tion of the United States then embraced 800,000 square miles, beyond 
which was an area of 2,500,000 square miles inhabited by savages, 
and almost unknown ; for we knew little of it then beyond what was 
known in the time of Jefferson, with the exception of Major Long s 
journey and Prof. Nicollet s exploration of the head-waters of the 

This was the state of things at the beginning of the period re 
ferred to. I will now enumerate what has been done since, and espe 
cially within the last twenty-five years. 

In Asia : the opening of the whole of China and Japan ; the acqui 
sition by the Russians of nearly the whole of Toorkistan, and the in 
auguration of a policy on their part which, either by treaty or mili 
tary conquest, will throw open the whole of Northern Asia to the free 


intercourse of the world. The extensive explorations by them in 
Northern Siberia, and of the rivers that flow into the Arctic. The 
many journeys, explorations, geographical and archaeological, made 
through Southern Arabia, Persia, Afghanistan, Beloochistan, and the 
northern regions of India, and explorations of the like character in 
Burmah, Siam, and Cambodia. The settlement of the French in Co- 
chin-China, and journeys to a -partial extent in Corea, and to a greater 
extent in Mantchooria. The Euphrates Expedition. The continuation 
of the great survey of India. The survey of Palestine, and the cutting 
of the Suez Canal. 

In Africa : the discovery of the great lakes, as well those which 
are the reservoirs of the Nile, as those lying south of the equator. 
The exploration of the country south of Abyssinia, between these lakes 
and the eastern coast, and the discovery of the great range of moun 
tains in that region, with their snow-capped peaks, the most ele 
vated land in Africa. The military occupation of Abyssinia and of 
Ashantee by the English ; the extensive journeys and researches in 
Northern and Northeastern Africa, by Barth, Overweg, Richardson, 
Rohlfs, Schweinfurth, Miani, Nachtigal, and others. The various ex 
peditions and individual journeys along the western coast, and the 
explorations of its immediate interior by Du Chaillu, Burton, Baines, 
Blyden, Gandy, Gussfeldt, etc., etc. The two journeys across Central 
Africa, from east to west, and west to east, by Dr. Livingstone ; his 
journey from the Cape upward ; his exploration of the Zambezi, and 
of the countries by which it is watered ; his discovery of the great 
network of rivers and lakes in Central Africa, below the equator, which 
he was pursuing at the time of his death, and the following up of that 
exploration by Lieutenant Cameron, with the latter s journey through 
Central Africa, from east to west. The numerous explorations in 
South and Southeastern Africa, from the Orange River to the Limpopo, 
and from that point along the eastern coast and its interior, as far as 
the parallel of Zanzibar, which, with the exploration of the imperfect 
ly known parts of the Island of Madagascar by Grandidier and Mul- 
lins, is but a very general statement of what has been done in Africa. 
What exploration has accomplished in Africa may be judged by a sin 
gle fact. In 1850 the area of cultivated land in Egypt was 2,000,000 
of acres; in 1874 it was 5,000,000. 

I may next refer to the numerous explorations around and across 
the great continent of Australia from Sturt s early journey to the last 
ones of Warburton and Forster. The survey of large portions of the 
coast of Papua or New Guinea, and explorations in the interior by 
Beccaria, D Albertis, Meyer, Van Rosenberg, and MacLeay. The 
explorations in Formosa by Steere, Le Gendre, and others, and the 
settlement of colonies and the establishment of governments by the 
English in New Zealand and the Feejee Islands. The explorations of 
the Arctic to within sio-ht of the eighty-third parallel of north latitude, 


including the discovery of the long-sought northwestern passage, and 
of its inutility. The exploration of the antarctic circle as far as the 
73 of south latitude, and the remarkable discovery that the ice-bound 
regions, both of the Arctic and Antarctic, were, at a former period of the 
world s history, covered with a luxuriant vegetation, and that plants 
and animals then existed there in great abundance, which are found 
now only in the tropics, or in the more southern parts of the temperate 

And finally our own explorations of the great Western region, 
between the Mississippi and the Pacific, by Fremont, Emory, Simpson, 
Marcy, Stansbury, Sitgreaves, Gunnison, Beckwith, Whipple, Wil 
liamson, Parke, Warren, Ives, Reynolds, Macomb, Mullen, Wheeler, 
and other gallant, efficient, and distinguished military officers con 
ducting reconnoissances or expeditions across its plains, deserts, and 
mountains, accompanied in these expeditions by scientific civilians, to 
whose labors we are indebted for our knowledge of its geology, agri 
cultural resources, and natural history. Among strictly scientific 
works by civilians I should also enumerate Whitney s survey of Cali 
fornia, followed by King and Gardner s belt of geological and topo 
graphical survey across the North American Cordilleras, Hayden and 
Gardner s survey in the Rocky Mountains, and Powell and Thompson s 
of the great canons of the Colorado, through whose united labors so 
much of the geography of this vast region has become known ; its 
great mountain-ranges, extraordinary canons, wonderful geysers, deep 
ly interesting ruins of a prehistoric and semi-civilized people of whom 
we know but little ; its lakes, rivers, majestic cataracts, broad areas 
of cultivable land, already largely and to be still more extensively 
settled, and finally the millions it has yielded in gold and silver ; a 
region so vast beyond the one hundredth meridian, that it will be 
twenty years before we obtain proper maps of it, unless the Govern 
ment is more liberal in providing for its exploration and survey than 
it has hitherto been. 

To these geographical labors and explorations within this period 
in various parts of the globe must also be added extensive researches 
of a geographical character, such as deep-sea dredgings, for the inves 
tigation of the temperature of the ocean, the movements of submerged 
currents, the plant and animal life existing at great depths, and the 
configuration of the bottom of the seas. The observation and study 
of oceanic currents and their cause. The distribution of heat north 
and south of the equator by the instrumentality of these currents, and 
its effects upon climate, as well as the effect of the currents from polar 
regions in modifying the heat of the equator. The meteorological ob 
servations in respect to the course of the winds ; and the investiga 
tions of the laws and of the cause of hurricanes, cyclones, and other 
aerial disturbances. The magnetic observations in elucidation of the 
difficult subject of terrestrial magnetism. The numerous measure- 


monts of great mountain-heights in the more elevated regions of the 
glbue. The extensive survey of coasts, prominent among which is our 
own great Coast Survey. The trigonometrical surveys carried on in 
many countries in Europe. The investigation of the cause of the 
glacial epoch, and possibly of inter-glacial epochs, or a succession of 
alternate warm and cold periods, each extending over long epochs of 
time, and their effect in bringing about the present condition of the 
earth s surface by changes in the level of the sea and the submergence 
of the land. 

This very inadequate statement will show how great, wide-spread, 
and constant has been the w^ork of exploration and research within the 
period referred to, and how truly it may be denominated a geographi 
cal age. 



IN the summer of 1874 it was my privilege to accompany one of the 
parties of the United States Geological Survey of the Territories, 
of which Dr. F. V. Hayden is chief. The field of operations was the 
mountainous region of Southern Colorado, and it afforded a good op 
portunity to examine the natural history of the region traversed. 

The mammals of the Rocky Mountains have long been well known, 
particularly the large game, which, except in the distant portions of 
the Territory of Colorado, has been greatly depleted by the constant 
pursuit of hunters and trappers. The case is somewhat the same with 
the game-birds; while the enthusiastic labors of Henshaw, Aiken, 
Allen, Coues, and other ornithologists, have given us a very complete 
knowledge of all the birds and their habitats. The fishes and reptiles 
have received some attention too ; and, in the lower, invertebrate forms 
of life, the investigations of Thomas upon the grasshoppers, Carpenter 
on the butterflies and moths, and Edwards, Packard, and Hagen on 
other insects, and the reports upon Crustacea and worms by Verrill, 
Smith, Leidy and others, have given us a tolerable knowledge of the 
extent to which those forms are to be found in that region. But the 
mollusks of the mountains land-snails, pond-snails, river-snails, and 
fresh-water mussels have been almost entirely neglected, except by 
Dr. Cooper, in the north. From Colorado only seven had been reported, 
which were collected by Lieutenant Carpenter. This, then, seemed to be 
the field most needing cultivation, and my attention was chiefly turned 
to it durincr three months of wandering over the mountain-ranges, 
parks, and sterile plains, that diversify the country between Midd 
Park and the corner of Arizona. Something was found at 
every camp, and, when the collection was at home and counted, it was 


somewhat surprising to find over fifty species, only nine of which had 
been hitherto known to exist in the Central Province, where an ex 
treme "paucity of species, .... owing to the nature of its climate 
and soil," had been alleged. Five of these species were new to science, 
and have since been described in the " Bulletin of the United States 
Geological Survey," second series, No. 2, which has since been re 
printed in an extended and revised form, in the Annual Report of the 
Survey for 1874. 

The Central Province alluded to above is the name given by Mr. 
W. G. Binney 1 to that portion of the United States embraced be 
tween the crests of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains on the 
west and the edge of the great plains on the east. It was considered 
to be unfavorable to the development of pulmonates and deficient in 
the number of species to be found, and that its fauna was closely 
allied to that of the Eastern States, whence it had been largely derived 
by way of the north, where the plains are succeeded by forests and 
the Rocky Mountains dwindle into hills. 

With respect to this distribution of mollusks in Colorado, none were 
found on the eastern slope of the range, although there is no conclusive 
evidence that they do not exist there ; altitude seemed to have very 
little influence upon their dispersion, as long as other favorable con 
ditions were present, and some species had a very local distribution. 

The eastern slope of the Snowy Range is abrupt, and receives com 
paratively little rain. Westward of the summit, however, certain 
genera as Zonites, Vitrina, Vallonia, Patula, Pupa, Succinea, and 
Pisidium were everywhere represented. Vitrinas and pupas were, 
perhaps, the most common forms, the latter being particularly numer 
ous on the Sierras in the southeastern corner of the Territory, where 
Pupilla alticola were traced up to the very limit of timber-growth, 
and upon the face of precipitous cliffs of volcanic rock, in whose clefts 
only tufts of grass could gain a foothold. With the latter shell also 
occurred some small succineas, and a mollusk with a delicate, box- 
shaped shell, only one-tenth of an inch in diameter. Plenty of these 
little fellows, as lively as could be, were to be found at the astonish 
ing height of 11,500 feet. They proved to be undescribed, and to 
belong to the sub-genus Microphysa, the two American species of 
which, heretofore known, are natives of the Gulf coast and the West 
Indies. W T hy this species should depart so far from the habits of its 
congeners as to thrive best in the arctic climate of these mountain- 
tops, is strange. This Microphysa was afterward met with in the 
valleys south of these Sierras, and in the mountains west of North 
Park. In this same southern group of mountains many other shells 
were found at a lesser altitude, but where water froze every night in 
August of the same species as existed in other parts of the Territory, 

1 In the " Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology " (Cambridge, Mass.), vol. 
iii., No. 9, " Geographical Distribution of North American Mollusca." 


and, indeed, all over the Central Province. The finding of Pupilla 
Blandi, heretofore known only as a fossil in Missouri Kiver drift 
living and abundant, is an instance worthy of special mention. 

It would seem, then, that a range of high mountains, or any number 
of ranges, would not offer a serious obstacle to the migration of land 
mollusks, or an insurmountable one to fresh-w r ater forms. The wide 
spread dissemination of such slow-moving creatures is a curious argu 
ment for the length of time that the country must have remained in 
substantially its present condition. 

The Sierras of which I have spoken are those which encircle Baker s 
Park and the San Juan mining region, and extend westward to the 
base of the great Uncompahgre Mountains, which trend northward not 
far from the Utah line. This group of volcanic and quartzite peaks 
constitutes the highest land anywhere in that region, and gives source 
both to the Rio Grande del Norte and to the head-waters of the Great 
Colorado River. Its steep southern sides are gashed with tremen 
dous gulches through which the Rio las Animas, the Rio La Plata, the 
Rio los Mancos, and other streams, which go to make up the Rio San 
Juan, flow out into the terrible canon-cut deserts that stretch away 
across Arizona to the Gila River. For a few miles after emerging 
from their rocky gates, these rivers water beautiful and fertile valleys, 
which are cut through the sandstones upturned against the intruded 
peaks, and which abound in springs. In these valleys are plenty of 
timber and undergrowth, the climate is rarely cold enough for snow 
even in winter, arid there I expected to gather a rich conchological 
harvest. In this I was not disappointed, only regretting that I could 
not make a more thorough examination than was permitted by the 
rapidity of our travel. Between the Animas and La Plata the trail 
passes through a valley between the lowest of the foot-hills, where 
there is a pond of several acres extent, resorted to by all sorts of wild 
fowl, inhabited by many forms of amphibious life, and choked with an 
exuberant aquatic vegetation. Here were found thousands of limneas 
of several species, and quantities of the common PlanorUs trivolvis 
showing a large range of variation among themselves. Like the lim 
neas, the planorbs were extremely fragile in texture, which may be 
owing partly to the soft bottom, and partly to the scarcity of lime in 
the water ; and they were distinguished by a short vertical diameter, 
which peculiarity, also, may have been acquired by them from the 
necessities of their habitat, since snails having shells with small breadth 
of beam could most advantageously pass between the stalks of stand 
ing water-plants that everywhere crowded the pond. But the as 
tonishing fact about this pond was, that on the shore were found per 
fect specimens although dead of the marine genus Truncatella, a 
broken specimen of an Area, and living crabs pronounced by Prof. 
Sidney I. Smith, of New Haven, to be true salt-water forms belonging 
to the family Astacidoe. That these are survivors of the period, prob- 


ably comparatively recent, when here was a soft-water marsh that 
remained caught in this basin among the hills after the country, for a 
long distance south of it, had become dry land, seems very evident. 
It is difficult otherwise to account for their presence. 

Farther on, in the valley of the Rio La Plata, where it emerges 
from its magnificent quartz canon, and where the gold placer-mines 
and prospective city of La Plata are situated, a fine collecting-ground 
was found. This was so far south that many deciduous trees grew in 
the river-bottoms, and nearly every terrestrial species hitherto met 
with was there to be had in plenty. For the next ten days we were 
entirely in the lava-blasted, treeless and waterless deserts on the 
northern margin of the Rio San Juan, engaged in exploring the ves 
tiges of that ancient semi-civilized race of village Indians, the rem 
nants of which still exist in the small tribe of Moquis on the Little 
Colorado. During this time no mollusks were found except, where 
there was a little moisture, a few pupas, which seem able to live any 
where, and many bleached shells of various species that had been 
drifted down from the mountains at times of high water. 

Our return-journey from the San Juan country was made from its 
very sources along the course of the Rio Grande. It led us through 
Antelope Park, on the eastern side of which lies St. Mary s Lake, a 
beautiful little sheet of crystal water studded with islands, and held 
among precipitous cliffs that afford it no visible outlet. It seems to 
be merely a great rocky basin, holding the melted snows of the sur 
rounding heights. Its surface is over 9,000 feet above the sea. There 
existed in countless numbers in this lake a large species of coil-shell 
which was a nondescript, and which I have since named Helisoma 
plexata. Each of the hundreds of individuals seen possessed in a more 
or less marked degree a twisted appearance, resulting from a change 
in the plane of revolution in old age, which is the most striking specific 
character. This sudden change in the directness of the growth causes 
the carina of the third whorl to rise into a sharp shoulder on the right 
side, while on the opposite side the third whorl sinks underneath the 
overflowing outer whorl. A similar change often occurs in the fourth 
whorl, giving a braided look to the shell. How this species came al 
most alone to inhabit this secluded lake is a problem, complicated by 
the fact that probably there is not another large Planorbis within 
fifty miles. That the wild-fowls, abundant on the lake, brought the 
eggs clinging to their feet, may be a plausible explanation; but where 
did they bring them from, and when ? The bottom of the lake is, for 
the most part, rough conglomerate rock, and is in many places filled 
with tangled water-plants, which may partially account for the pecu 
liarities of the species. The shells of this genus appear to be especially 
subject to distortion under abnormal conditions. 

Continuing our course down the valley of the Rio Grande to the 
town of Del Norte, we there left the river and struck across the San 


Luis Valley to Mosca Pass through the Sangre de Cristo Range. This 
alkali and sage-brush plain, fifty miles wide, is very far from being 
" the garden of the world," as it has been styled. Near the eastern 
side is a group of lakes, the water of which is highly alkaline. These 
lakes are the abode and breeding-place of wild geese and ducks in the 
greatest number, which are tormented without end by the gulls that 
also make the lakes their home. On the gravelly beaches I picked up 
many shells, and doubtless in the deep water many more species might 
have been dredged, had there been time. But nowhere were there 
any bivalves, except the little cyclades. The fact that there was no 
lack of molluscan life in these intensely bitter waters was not surpris 
ing, since mollusks seem to flourish in mineral springs of both hot and 
cold water everywhere. We had seen before a fine illustration of this 
adaptation to peculiar conditions. The Grand River, which flows 
through Middle Park, contains no mollusks at all that I could dis 
cover; but at Hot Springs, in a little lagoon filled at high water, 
large, clear, ampullacea-Yike forms of the familiar Physa heterostropha 
were common. Close by, in the few yards of exposed outlet of the 
springs of hot sulphur-water from which the locality derives its name, 
there occurred in the greatest profusion a blackish, globose variety of 
the same species only one-fifth of an inch long. The temperature of 
this water was at some points as high as 100 Fahr. Tn the basin of 
a still hotter spring not ten feet away, whose waters were saturated 
with chlorides of sodium and magnesium, hundreds of still smaller 
Physce, were floating about in mats glued together by a tangle of con- 
fervoid vegetation and the depositions of the water. All these seemed 
to have lost their apices by erosion, " which is extremely liable to 
happen to shells living in water charged with alkaline salts other than 
lime." On the other hand, quite as small and black were the examples 
from the pure cold springs near Saguache, where there was seemingly 
nothing whatever to stunt their growth. 

I was stimulated, by the results of rny study of my own collection 
from Colorado, to gather all possible information about the mollusks 
of the Central Province generally, as it has been limited above. The 
bibliography was quite large, but the notes of locality and station 
very meagre. Tabulating the sum of the information open to me, 
and including my own summer s work, I found that 138 nominal 
species had been recorded as occurring in this inter-montanic region. 
Of these, 49 were also Californian species; 15 occurred also in the 
Eastern United States; 8 hailed from the Colorado Desert; 7 were 
found all over the continent, and 8 all over the world ; and 3 belonged 
in the Eastern Province, west ofnhe Alleghanies only. This left 47 
nominal species, whese range, so far as yet known, is confined to the 
Central Province. Many of the specific names in this list, however, 
rest upon very insecure foundations, and will, no doubt, soon be re 
duced to synonyms. With respect to their vertical distribution, ob- 


servations in the Rocky Mountains do not tally well with D Orfo gny s 
notes from the Andes, since out of 156 species discovered in South 
America, he found only 13 between the thirty-fourth and forty-fifth 
parallels of latitude which corresponds to the district of north lati 
tude considered here and only 10 species were found above 5,000 
feet. My list of the Rocky Mountain mollusca, on the contrary, shows 
that 55 species out of the 138 inhabit heights exceeding 5,000 feet, 
and 10 species have been found above 10,000 feet. These latter, 
however, are all recorded from mountains south of the thirty-ninth 
parallel ; but it is safe to say that, where there is moisture, a goodly 
collection of mollusks can be made in the mountains of the Terri 
tories all "the way up to the timber-line. This is probably true of all 
parts of the world. 

In a recent paper on the hypsometric distribution of mollusca in 
Europe, communicated to the French Academy of Sciences at Paris, 
at their meeting on October 11, 1875, M. P. Fischer alludes to the 
great regularity with which plants thrive on mountains, each at a 
certain height. The terrestrial mollusca, being unprovided with means 
of locomotion enjoyed by birds and insects, and being, moreover, 
dependent upon vegetable life for food, could not fail to be discovered 
in the same way as plants, and this supposition he confirmed by ob 
servation. Each species extends to an altitude the limits of which it 
does not overstep. M. Fischer has verified this in the central Pyrenees 
as well as in the Alps, and divided the altitudes into five zones, com 
prised between 1,500 feet and 7,500 feet. Each zone is distinguished 
by the name of a species of Helix. Thus, in the Pyrenees, the first 
zone, ending at a height of 3,000 feet, is called that of Helix carthu- 
siana ; the second, ending at 3,600 feet, Helix aspersa ; the third, 
terminating at 4,500 feet, Helix limbata ; the fourth, limited at 6,000 
feet, Helix nemoralis and the fifth, ending at 7,500 feet, Helix caras- 
calensis. In the Alps, at the same altitudes, the names of the zones 
are respectively Helix carthusiana, obvoluta^ Fontenelli, sylvatica, and 
glacialis. A few individual mollusks will, indeed, climb as high as 
9,000 feet, but they all stop at the limit of perpetual snow. Various 
genera of fluviatile mollusks do not ascend higher than 3,000 feet, a 
circumstance which the author considered of some importance to 
geologists, since it proves that in the quaternary beds the fossiliferous 
strata containing those genera, such as Neritina, Paludina, etc., were 
deposited at small altitudes. The Lake of Goube, about three hours 
walk from Cauterets, 5,364 feet above the level of the sea, is thickly 
peopled with trout, frogs, and mollusks. 

The results of this inquiry into the geographical distribution of 
mollusks in the mountainous West are meagre enough, but may be of 
some use in future investigations. Whether this central region is a 
true zoological province considered with reference to the mollusca, 
and what is the origin of its fauna, are hardly to be answered yet. 


Enough seems to be known, however, to show that this inter-montanic 
region is not so deficient as has been supposed, either in the number 
of its species or in representatives of adjoining faunas. The impres 
sion that the Central Province is unfavorable to pulmonate growth 
also seems wrong, except in respect to the scarcity of lime in the soil, 
to which cause we may probably attribute the fact that the more 
minute forms are in large majority. 



JUSTUS LIEBIG was born on the 12th of May, 1803, at Darmstadt, 
in the grand-duchy of Hesse. His father was what in this country 
(England) we should term a wholesale druggist and dry-salter, a trade 
which is in Germany designated by the name of materialist. There 
is no doubt that the opportunities which he had of collecting chemical 
reagents, and of witnessing the preparation of many products which 
were the objects of his father s trade, early excited in him that curi 
osity which soon became an insatiable thirst. It is related on credit 
able testimony that at the age of fourteen years he had performed all 
the experiments of which he could get knowledge from books, or for 
which within his means he could obtain the materials, and it is related 
by himself that about that time there was not a work in the library 
of the Grand-duke of Darmstadt on chemistry which he had not read. 
Looking at his early days by the light of that information, we cannot 
doubt that the anecdote ordinarily told of his having been a dull boy 
is a mere mistake. He was abstracted by other pursuits, and there 
fore, no doubt, neglected his school-work, but that he should have 
been less gifted than others cannot, under the circumstances, be be 
lieved. It is related by a credible person that in 1817, when he and 
his school-fellows were speaking to each other as to what pursuit they 
were to select, he said that he was going to be a chemist, whereupon 
the other boys laughed at him and told him he was a great fool, for a 
chemist was nothing. However, times have changed, and what at 
that time was considered as no pursuit is now an honored profession. 
In the year 1818 he gave a distinct direction to that early bent of 
his mind, and he followed almost the only way which at that time 
existed in Germany for studying chemistry ; he became an apprentice 
in an ordinary apothecary s establishment. An apothecary in Ger 
many is a more scientific person than perhaps many would believe. 
He has had a thorough training, he has passed examinations, and he 
represents, therefore, the scientific side of chemistry, pharmacy, and 
1 From the " Cantor Lectures " delivered before the Society of Arts. 
TOL. ix. 4 


the science of drugs in perfection. To such an apothecary, residing at 
Heppenheim, near Darmstadt, Liebig went, and remained there about 
ten months, but in that occupation as an apprentice his mind soon 
became wearied, he saw that he could not attain his object ; and when, 
while continuing some of his early experiments on the fulminates, on 
one occasion he had the misfortune to produce a great explosion, 
this fact quickly terminated his apprenticeship, and he returned to 
Darmstadt. These explosions in the early days of great chemists are 
not uncommon. It is related in the case of Scheele that, when he was 
apprenticed to an apothecary, he once had a great explosion, in con 
sequence of which his landlady expelled him from the house. 

Liebig returned to his father s house in the year 1814, and read for 
six months in order to prepare himself for visiting the University of 
Bonn. He there listened to the lectures on theoretical chemistry of 
the well-known Prof. Kastner, and he also studied the other natural 
sciences and some languages, and, what is very characteristic of his 
great genius and perseverance, he formed a society among the stu 
dents for the purpose of teaching one another, and for discussing sub 
jects connected with chemistry and physics. Kastner being called to 
Erlangen, Liebig followed him there, and we are told that there he 
read all the new chemical publications, established another students 
society for the same object as the first, and made many friends among 
the students, of whom several continued that friendship up to their 
death. Thus the celebrated poet, Count Platen, corresponded with 
him to the time of his death in 1830, and of this friendship we can see 
many congenial influences in the writings of Liebig, for there is no 
doubt that, in his " Familiar Letters on Chemistry," the language, 
although always prose, frequently rises to the highest beauty, such as 
can only be produced by a mind of a poetical turn. The same influ 
ence of the classical period of German literature you will also perceive 
for example in the writings of Humboldt, particularly in his "Views 
on Nature," which are therefore considered as examples of classical 
German diction. Liebig also made the acquaintance of Bischof, the 
botanist, and of Engelhard, later Professor of Chemistry at Nurem 
berg. He went in for the severe study of what at that time was called 
philosophy, that is, he listened to the lectures on metaphysics and 
philosophy in general, of the then great Schelling. Now, let me give 
you the words of Liebig on that period of his life. He says : " I my 
self studied for some time in a university where the greatest philoso 
phers and metaphysicians of the century carried the studying youths 
away to admiration and imitation. Who could at that time resist the 
infection ? I, too, have lived and participated in this period so rich 
in words and ideas, so poor in true knowledge and solid studies: it 
has robbed me of two precious years of my life. I cannot describe 
the terror and dismay which I felt when I awoke from this giddy 
dream to consciousness. How many most gifted and talented men 


have I seen perish in this vertigo, how many wails about life-objects 
completely missed have I been obliged to hear afterward ! " Thus he 
spoke in his work on the study of the natural sciences, which was pub 
lished at Brunswick in 1840. 

Now, in order that you may be able to apprehend what this kind 
of philosophy was, and to understand more fully the position from 
which he had to emancipate himself, even at that early time of his 
life, I will quote to you a very few passages, and I will make them as 
short as possible, compatible with illustration, from one of Schelling s 
works, from the periodical for speculative physics mark the term, 
" Speculative Physics." I will quote the following passage : " Nature 
strives in the dynamical sphere necessarily to absolute indifference, 
not by magnetism nor by electricity is represented the totality of the 
dynamical process, but only by the chemical process. With the third 
dimension of the product the two other dimensions are opposed. In 
Nature itself there is one and inseparate, what is separated for the pur 
pose of speculation." That is almost enough, but I will give you an 
other passage which will be more striking because of the contrary 
itself being known to you. Here he says of the composition of water : 
" Water contains just the same as iron, but in absolute indifference as 
yonder in relative indifference, carbon and nitrogen, and thus all true 
polarity of the earth is reduced to an original south and north which 
are fixed in the magnet." Now, in order that you may believe that he 
did not merely speak of an admixture or impurity of carbon or nitro 
gen, but that he meant to say that it was the essence of water, and 
that it was really composed of these two elements, and not of any 
other, he goes on to say : " The animal is in organic Nature the iron ; 
the plant is the water, for Nature begins with the relative separation 
of the sexes, and then ends in this separation. The animal decomposes 
the iron, the plant decomposes the water. The female and the male 
sex of the plant is the carbon and the nitrogen of the water." These 
are two examples of the philosophy of Schelling, which was believed 
at that time to be the science by which Germany could be regenerated, 
by which the generation which had then only just recovered its inde 
pendence would be put on a firm mental basis. The followers of this 
system were called to the court of Prussia, and there Hegel, the phi 
losopher, continued in a similar manner to teach doctrines which now 
adays seem to be but a farrago of nonsense. Hegel says, for example, 
on the chemical process : " If electricity was the broken magnetism, 
because the opposite poles are independent bodies upon which the 
positive and negative electricity is distributed, and if the point of 
indifference is the explosion of an indifferent light by itself, then is the 
chemical process, on the other hand, the totality of the shaping. We 
have two independent bodies which belong more to the one or the 
other extreme ; to the metal on the one hand, or the sulphur on the 
other, which meet in an indifferent medium, and by abandoning their 


abstract one-sidediiess in which they decompose the medium combine 
to a third body which is the totality and the neutrality of the oppo- 
sites, the dynamical process in its highest perfection." 

When a young man of seventeen or eighteen years of age is capa 
ble of freeing himself from the trammels of such a chimera termed 
philosophy, which had taken such a deep hold of a whole nation as to 
cause to flock to the university where it was taught the selected youth 
of the whole country, you may give him credit for great power of 
mind and for great independence of judgment. Do not forget that 
this development of the philosophy of Schelling and Hegel was a con 
sequence of the latter part of the philosophy of Kant. Kant s phi 
losophy was great as long as it was based on the exact sciences, upon 
physics, and upon mathematics, but when he left that basis and went 
into the speculative philosophy he gradually went away from that 
basis which had made his early philosophy so sound and so full of 
meaning for the perfection of the human understanding. On the other 
hand, when you come to a further development of the same philoso 
phy, namely, that of Fichte, there the speculative part vanishes en 
tirely into insignificance, because that which Fichte taught was not 
such kind of nonsense as that which I have read to you, but it was a 
kind of moral philosophy which spoke to the youth of Germany, and 
taught them this one great proposition, which every one of them 
ought to feel, and which is the first condition of self-consciousness in 
man, namely, "I am I;" this was the great teaching of Fichte, by 
which he brought home to men their own value and their own powers, 
which cannot be said was the result of the other philosophy from 
which I have quoted. 

In 1822 Liebig, having emancipated himself from this kind of 
teaching, took the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Erlangen, when 
he was nineteen years old. In the autumn of that year he returned 
to Darmstadt ; his researches and endeavors then became known, and 
he attracted the attention of the Grand-duke Ludwig I., of Hesse- 
Darmstadt, who conferred upon him a state stipend, to enable him to 
continue his studies at Paris. To Paris, therefore, he went. Now let 
us for a moment consider what was then the condition of chemistry 
at Paris. Lavoisier, the great reformer, who had established what 
was then called the antiphlogistic chemistry, had thirty years before 
died on the scaffold ; Guy ton de Morveau, Fourcroy, and Berthollet, 
whom the first Napoleon called the plus brave des Fran$ais, because 
he gave him chlorate of potassium, by which he hoped to overcome 
the want of nitre for his gunpowder; the great Societe d Arcueil, 
which worked through the whole of the war-times zealously at science, 
and published its memoirs all these men had passed away. But there 
remained their disciples in the persons of Proust, Chevreul, Yauquelin, 
Gay-Lussac, Thenard, and Dulong. Chevreul is the only one of these 
celebrated men who now lives, and he has lately published, in the 


Comptes Rendus, a very remarkable paper on the changes which are 
produced in the power of thinking and observing by age. Fourcroy 
the great animal chemist, who, in connection with Vauquelin, laid the 
foundation of that physiological chemistry on which the modern sci 
ence is based ; then Gay-Lussac, Thenard, and Dulong, men of the 
new science, who continued the work in a most glorious manner, which 
in this country had been carried to such a glorious issue by Humphry 
Davy these men were at that time teaching at Paris, and at the 
laboratory which the liberality of the first Napoleon and his envy 
of English discoveries had established at L^cole Poly technique. 
They contiued to study and shape the new science which was destined 
to give to the modern science of chemistry precision. 

Liebig then worked with Thenard, listened to Gay-Lussac s lectures, 
and he met there the young German chemists, Runge, well known by 
his many researches on tar, and the tar products; Mitscherlich, the 
discoverer of isomorphism and polymorphism; Gustav Rose, the 
representative of the perfection of analytical and inorganic chemistry. 
In 1823 he brought his first paper on the fulminates of silver and 
mercury before the Academy. And now, let me quote to you what 
he says of that event in the first work which he ever published. In 
the preface, which is a dedication to Alexander von Humboldt, he 
says that at the meeting of the Academy, on the 28th of July, 1823, 
he had read his paper, and was just engaged in packing up his appa 
ratus and preparations, when a man, one of the members of the Acad 
emy, approached him, entered into conversation with him, and in an 
incredibly short space of time knew how to elicit from him all his 
hopes, schemes, and intentions. He did not dare to ask, either from 
shyness or from accident, who the gentleman was who spoke to him, 
and he disappeared again among the academicians. But he says: 
"From that day all the doors of society, and of all institutions, were 
open to me. I did not know until many years afterward to whom I 
owed this introduction and favor." It was to Humboldt, who had so 
well recommended him to the great French chemists that Gay-Lussac, 
who never took any pupil whatever into his laboratory, accepted him 
as his only pupil, and, more than that, joined with him in his continu 
ation of those researches which at that early age he had brought to 
such perfection. This preface is beautiful in its conception and feel 
ing, and has been printed in all the seven editions of the work which 
have since been published. If there were time this would, perhaps, 
be the place to show the wonderful influence which Humboldt has 
exercised upon the science of all countries; but I must pass over 
that subject, and continue the account of Liebig s life. 

Through the recommendations of Humboldt and Gay-Lussac, both 
of which were addressed directly to the Grand-duke of Hesse-Darm 
stadt, Liebig was, at the age of twenty-one years, by the supreme will 
and absolute power of the grand-duke, appointed first Professor of 


Chemistry in the University of Giessen. A new chair was established 
for him, and as a laboratory he received a room, as he expresses it, 
with four walls. Great was the opposition against this new professor ; 
for what was chemistry? Chemistry was no science, nobody knew 
anything of chemistry, nobody would have it. Moreover, the appoint 
ment had not been made in the regular way, therefore the whole of 
the authorities of the university set themselves against it. The con 
sequence was that the majority of that university persecuted that 
man for twenty-seven years ; and, no matter what was his reputation, 
the amount of his work, or the importance of his position, for twenty- 
seven years this man could never once be made Rector of the Univer 
sity of Giessen. But where are the opposing influences now ? History 
will not mention their names. Their ultramontane participators tried 
to decry the great man as an atheist and materialist, and by that 
means to remove from him the assistance of the state, and to diminish 
his chance of gaining a living. But he was too strong for all of them. 
In the year 1826 he was appointed Professor in Ordinary, a promotion 
by which he became a fixed servant of the state and a fixed member 
of the university. In that year he married Henrietta Moldenhauer, 
a most amiable lady, who now survives him. 

Now comes the period of work which lasted to the year 1834. The 
work itself I will not now enter upon, but we will, in future lect 
ures, see what was the nature of that work. We will perform before 
your eyes some of those operations by which that work has become 
of the utmost importance to mankind at large; and you can then see 
how, from a small point, there can be a light shed upon the largest 
problems of science. 

In this year 1834, however, Liebig fell ill from overwork and anxie 
ty. A portrait, which was taken at that time by the now deceased 
painter Engel, gives evidence of that, and I remember that the late 
Prof. Zamminer told me that he had seen Liebig about that time 
taking short walks in the evening air, looking pale and haggard, like 
a man in consumption, with little spots of hectic on his cheeks, and 
that his friends were afraid he would soon die. At that time he re 
tired from Giessen for a while, and went to Baden-Baden, in the hope 
of recruiting his health. The patience which he had exercised for 
many years, under the most narrow arrangements, then gave way, and 
he asked for the building of a new lecture-room, the arrangement of 
a proper laboratory, and for an increase of salary. All was refused 
by the narrow-minded Government of Hesse-Darmstadt, through that 
close-minded man, the then chancellor, Yon Linde. Then Liebig 
wrote to Yon Linde a letter, in which, after the introduction, he con 
tinues thus : 

"I should have gained some convenience by these arrangements, but they 
were not intended for me personally ; they would have been of lasting value for 
the university, and would have secured to the chemical chair an advantage over 


all others in Germany. For the institutions of a university the largest sums 
may be expended, for this increases the respect and affection for them ; but the 
suitable employment of these sums must be strictly controlled. The sums are 
there, but they are used in an intolerably ridiculous manner. I must be certain 
of what I may have to expect at Giessen. If driven to extremities I shall not 
return there this winter, whether I obtain leave or not. I shall know how to 
justify this step, for no one has been maltreated in the university in a more 
conspicuous manner. One cannot live at Giessen upon a salary of 800 florins. 
Four years ago I, in conjunction with four colleagues, asked for an increase 
of salary; it has been refused. You (the Chancellor von Linde) have as 
sured me with smiles that the state treasury had no funds; from this I saw 
that you have never known grief and torturing care for the daily bread. From 
the moment of that refusal I have endeavored to acquire an independent posi 
tion by ceaseless work ; my exertions have not been without success, but they 
have surpassed my strength, and I have become an invalid ; and if now, when 
I do not require the state any longer, I consider that with a few miserable hun 
dred florins more my health need not have suffered in former years, because my 
life would have been more free from care, the hardest thought for me is that my 
situation was known to you. The means which the laboratory possesses have 
been too small from the beginning. I had four walls given to me instead of a 
furnished laboratory. Notwithstanding my requests, no sum for furnishing the 
same, or for buying apparatus, has been provided. I required instruments and 
specimens, and have been obliged to spend on these items annually from 300 to 
400 florins from my own means; besides the famulus paid by the state I re 
quired an assistant, who costs me 320 florins deduct both expenses from my 
salary, and there remains not enough to clothe my children,. From this original 
treatment of the laboratory the consequence has arisen that it possesses no 
property, for I can show that the arrangements, fittings, instruments, specimens, 
which have made the Giessen laboratory I can say it without blushing the 
first in Germany, are my property. I will say nothing more about myself my 
account with Giessen is closed. My path is not the one of reptiles, the easiest 
though the dirtiest. What I have said will suffice to justify with the ministry 
and the prince my resolution not to lecture at Giessen during this winter (1834- 
35). If I am in health I may not lack the poweT to establish a kind of univer 
sity for my branches of science at my own risk. If I am not permitted, and if 
I receive my conge, this will free me from the charge of ingratitude toward the 
country from the means of which my scientific training has been possible. I have 
learned to bear much injustice, many a false judgment, but this reproach of in 
gratitude would be too heavy for me to bear." 

This letter pictures to you the conditions which prevailed at Darm 
stadt, but it is still more important, because it shows that such strong 
language was required to bring down the ministry, and that which no 
kind of friendly representation had been able to effect, this threat did. 
In 1835 he had to take compulsory repose. I find in the list of his 
publications only three small papers dating from this period, of which 
one only was a research ; but in almost every other year there were 
from ten to twenty researches and publications. 

In 1836 another active period begins. In that year there were 
nine researches by himself alone, thirteen by himself and Pelouze. In 
1837 there were nine researches by himself and five with WOhler, in- 


eluding the celebrated one on lithic acid, and two with the celebrated 
French chemist Dumas. In that year the British Association for the 
Advancement of Science, at their Liverpool meeting, made a request 
to him to write a report on the then state of knowledge of organic 
chemistry. It was this report which originated the work which he 
published in 1840, namely, the work entitled "Organic Chemistry in 
its Application to Agriculture and Physiology." In 1838 he pub 
lished a memoir on the state of chemistry in Austria, in which he ex 
hibited its shortcomings in trenchant language, and the effect upon 
the Austrian Government was such as no one would have expected. 
In reply to his essay he received the offer of a chair at Vienna. 
" Come to us," they said, " reform our chemistry, and we will give 
you a chair." But the conditions were not sufficient, and the Aus 
trian Government, having received Liebig s refusal to go to Vienna, 
at their own expense sent a number of young chemists to Giessen, 
there to study chemistry under Liebig, and to prepare themselves for 
the important function of becoming teachers of the new chemistry in 
Austria. In the year 1840 he published the work which I have already 
mentioned, and he also published a memoir on the state of chemistry 
in Prussia. You know what was the state of Prussia in 1840; the 
promises made by the king in the year 1813, regarding a liberal con 
stitution, had all been falsified, a narrow-minded bureaucracy gov 
erned everything, a minister of education who did not comprehend 
his time could not understand that physical science required any pro 
motion, or any state help. He soon went into that movement which 
has been described as Muckerthum, a kind of pietism which shows itself 
by casting up the eyes in a praying attitude, having God more on the 
tongue than in the heart ; by a mock-modest morality which would, 
for example, have caused the council of this institution to have those 
beautiful nymphs on our walls painted over with drapery. Under 
these circumstances no science could progress, and there was not in 
the whole of Prussia a single establishment, laboratory, or teaching- 
room where a man could learn practical or even theoretical chemistry. 
It was the great boast of even talented teachers of chemistry, that all 
the apparatus they required for teaching was a dozen test-tubes. 
This attack on the state of chemistry in Prussia had no effect what 
ever of a good kind, but, on the contrary, the bureaucracy used its 
power and influence to prevent the Prussian youth from visiting the 
University of Giessen, and I have the authority of Kolbe that for a 
time the visiting this university was actually forbidden to young 

About this period Liebig purchased from the municipality of 
Giessen a sand-pit, at a place called Trieb, on a little height east of 
the town, and there he made experiments on vegetable physiology. 
This place bears the name of " Liebig s Height " to the present day, 
and I dare say it will bear it for many years to come. He also pub- 


lished his work on " Chemistry in its Application to Physiology and 
Pathology," which he dedicated to Berzelius. In 1844 appeared his 
first " Familiar Letters on Chemistry," in the Augsburg Gazette. 
These letters were afterward published with many new ones from time 
to time in several editions, and by this means he contributed greatly 
to make chemistry popular, while still keeping it in the most scientific 
form needful. In 1850 he published a pamphlet on spontaneous com 
bustion, on the occasion of the death of the Countess Gorlitz, who had 
by experts and doctors at Darmstadt and Giessen been declared to 
have perished from spontaneous combustion, but it was afterward 
found out that she had not perished in that way, but that she had 
been murdered by her butler, and afterward burnt. About this time 
also Liebig effected a reform in the medical studies and examinations 
in the University of Giessen, and this reform was so important, and 
effected by so great a participation of public opinion, that we see 
there how great was his power, although in the university itself he 
was kept out of office as far as possible. These reforms amounted to 
nothing less than this complete liberty of study. You know that in 
this country medical students have no liberty of study ; they are 
obliged to attend lectures, to have heard at least two-thirds of the lect- 


ures given, and if it is not certified by the beadle, who comes in to 
every lecture and takes the names of all present, that they have been 
present at two-thirds of the lectures, they are not allowed to enter for 
the examination. This state of things also existed in the German uni 
versities previous to this reformation. At that time, however, this was 
completely done away with, and every student was allowed to obtain 
his knowledge where and how he pleased. He was not obliged to 
enter any university whatever, but he was obliged to pass an exami 
nation, and to pass that examination publicly, an examination which 
should so thoroughly test his knowledge that, after he had passed it 
there could be no doubt whatever about his fitness to follow his pro 
fession. Now let me recommend to your attention this most remark 
able system of public examination. The extraordinary effect it had on 
the University of Giessen was this, that, whereas formerly many stu 
dents coming unprepared were rejected, since the introduction of pub 
lic examinations few rejections have taken place, because the students 
take great care to get up their subjects and to come so fully prepared 
that, in the presence of tfceir countrymen, in the presence of any per 
son who likes to enter the hall when the examination takes place, they 
can show that they are. fit to follow their profession. 

I have already, I see, passed the time allotted to me, and I shall 
not detain you many more minutes. In the autumn of the year 1 
Liebig left Giessen, having received a call to the University of Mil 
nich, where the then King Maximilian was desirous of following 1 
father, Ludwig, on another path of glory. You know that Ludwig 
had made it his life-business to restore art in Germany and raise it to 


a high footing in Bavaria, and Maximilian now wished to do the same 
thing for science in general, and he therefore endeavored to collect 
from all parts of Germany the best men whom he could attract. One 
of these was Liebig, the king having made him president of the Acad 
emy, with the condition that he should undertake no laboratory teach 
ing ; that he should deliver lectures only, and at the same time be 
the Curator of the Botanical Gardens. In that position he remained 
up to his death, devoting himself mainly to the public part of his 
duties, which lie performed with grace, honor, and glory, and in the 
laboratory which had been constructed for his own immediate wants 
he only performed such analyses, partly himself, and partly by a num 
ber of assistants, as were necessary to give him the data for the pub 
lication of his several works. 

At last, in the year 1873, on April 18th, he died, nearly seventy 
years of age, and in full possession of his faculties, not having, as 
other philosophers have had the pain of doing, experienced any dimi 
nution of his mental powers. 




WHATEVER may be thought of the intellectual differences be 
tween men and women, the broad mental contrast between 
Caroline Herschal and her brother Sir William Herschel is undeniable. 
Intellectual activity and a love of knowledge for its own sake influ 
enced his boyhood, characterized his manhood, and dominated his 
whole life. He became an eminent astronomer because his passion for 
physical inquiry, directed toward the constitution of the universe, mas 
tered every other sentiment of his nature. But the mind of Caroline 
Herschel was of another mould. She learned various things, from a 
desire to please her friends and to earn her living; but there is no evi 
dence that she ever studied anything from a love of knowledge. Her 
whole life was inspired by purely personal feelings. In a former arti 
cle we saw how submissively she delved for the family throughout her 
youth, and left them full of concern about their daily comforts. It 
was an all-absorbing love for her brother which led her to study as 
tronomy, and at his death her devotion to science ended. Some peo 
ple, perhaps, will admire her less on this account ; yet, while it dimin 
ishes her claims as a philosopher, it certainly increases her claims as a 
woman. The tendency of women to act from intense personal motives 
is a fact of vital moment to the community, because the very existence 
of the family depends upon it; and it is difficult to imagine any future 


phase of society, of which the family is a factor, where engrossing 
personal feeling will not continue to be a supreme womanly trait. 

Resuming our history, we find that on the 1st of August, 1782, the 
Herschels with their instruments and furniture arrived at Datchet, and 
took possession of a large and neglected old house, with garden and 
grounds overgrown with weeds. Having no female servant, Miss 
Herschel was shown the shops by the gardener s wife, and her 
practical sense was at once shocked at the prices of everything, from 
coal to butcher s meat. But her brother w T as not disturbed by such 
considerations. He had stables where he could grind mirrors, a roomy 
laundry for a library, a large grass-plot for his instruments, and "he 
gayly assured her that they could live on eggs and bacon, which 
would cost nothing to speak of, now they were really in the country." 
After a couple of months the younger brother went back to Bath to 
resume his occupations in music ; and it was this separation which 
awakened Caroline to a consciousness of what she was doing in giving 
up the prospect of becoming independent in the musical profession. 
But she reconciled herself to the situation by the thought that her 
brother William could not do without her, and that she had not spirit 
enough to throw herself upon the public without his protection. Soon 
after Alexander s departure, William had to go away for a week or 
ten days, and she was left alone. She thus describes her feelings in 
entering upon her new work : 

" In my brother s absence from home, I was, of course, left solely to amuse 
myself with my own thoughts, which were anything but cheerful. I found I 
was to be trained for an assistant astronomer, and, by way of encouragement, a 
telescope adapted for sweeping, consisting of a tube with two glasses, such as 
are commonly used in a finder, was given me. I was to sweep for comets, 
and I see by my journal that I began August 22, 1782, to write down and de 
scribe all remarkable appearances I saw in my sweeps, which were horizontal. 
But it was not till the last two months of the same year that I felt the least en 
couragement to spend the starlight nights on a grass-plot covered with dew or 
hoar-frost, without a human being near enough to be within call ; for I knew 
too little of the real heavens to be able to point out every object so as to find it 
again without losing too much time by consulting the atlas. But all these 
troubles were removed when I knew my brother to be at no great distance, 
making observations with his various instruments on double stars, planets, etc., 
1 and I could have his assistance immediately when I found a nebula, or cluster 
of stars, of which I intended to give a catalogue ; but, at the end of 1783, I had 
only marked fourteen, when my sweeping was interrupted by being employed 
to write down my brother s observations with the large twenty-foot. I had, 
however, the comfort to see that my brother was satisfied with, my endeavors to 
assist him when he wanted another person, either to run to the clocks, write 
down a memorandum, fetch and carry instruments, or measure the ground with 
poles, etc., of which something of the kind every moment would occur." 

The summer months of 1783 were spent in getting the large twenty- 
foot ready for the next winter. After some account of her brother s 
many and incessant occupations, she says he also threw away some 


trouble in the effort to teach her to remeasure double stars with the 
micrometers used in former measurements, and a small twenty-foot 
was given her for the purpose. She had also to use a borrowed tran 
sit-instrument to find their places, but after many failures it was seen 
that the instrument was as much in fault as herself. She thus con 
tinues her account of her experiences : 

"July 8th (1783) I began to use the Newtonian small sweeper, but it could 
hardly be expected that I should meet with any comets in the part of the heavens 
where I swept, for I generally chose my situation by the side of my brother s 
instrument, that I might be ready to run to the clock or write down memoran 
dums. In the beginning of December I became entirely attached to the writing- 
desk, and had seldom an opportunity after that time of using my newly-acquired 
instrument. My brother began his series of sweeps when the instrument was 
yet in a very unfinished state, and my feelings were not very comfortable when 
every moment I was alarmed by a crack or fall, knowing him to be elevated 
fifteen feet or more on a temporary cross-beam instead of a safe gallery. The 
ladders had not even their braces at the bottom ; and one night, in a very high 
wind, he had hardly touched the ground before the whole apparatus came down. 
Some laboring-men were called up to help in extricating the mirror, which was 
fortunately uninjured; but much work was cut out for carpenters next day. 
That my fears of danger and accidents were not wholly imaginary, I had an un 
lucky proof on the night of the 31st of December. The evening had been cloudy, 
but about ten o clock a few stars became visible, and in the greatest hurry all 
was got ready for observing. My brother, at the front of the telescope, directed 
me to make some alteration in the lateral motion, which was done by machinery, 
on which the point of support of the tube and mirror rested. At each end of the 
machine or trough was an iron hook, such as butchers use for hanging their joints 
upon, and, having to run in the dark on ground covered a foot deep with melt 
ing snow, I fell on one of these hooks, which entered my right leg above the 
knee. My brother s call, Make haste! I could only answer by a pitiful cry, 
I am hooked! He and the workmen were instantly with me, but they could 
not lift me without leaving nearly two ounces of my flesh behind. The work 
man s wife was called, but was afraid to do anything, and I was obliged to be 
my own surgeon by applying aquabusade and tying a kerchief about it for some 
days, till Dr. Lind, hearing of ray accident, brought me ointment and lint, and 
told me how to use them. At the end of six weeks I began to have some fears 
about my poor limb, and asked again for Dr. Lind s opinion ; he said if a soldier 
had met with such a hurt he would have been entitled to six weeks nursing in 
a hospital. I had, however, the comfort to know that my brother was no loser 
through this accident, for the remainder of the night was cloudy, and several 
nights afterward afforded only a few short intervals favorable for sweeping, and, 
until the 16th of January, there was no necessity for my exposing myself for a 
whole night to the severity of the season. I could give a pretty long list of ac 
cidents which were near proving fatal to my brother as well as myself." 

Her account of the years 1784 and 1785 is varied by reminiscences 
of the trouble her brother had in trying to live and pursue his as 
tronomical observations on 200 a year. The book contains many 
incidental allusions to royal patronage that are not flattering; but, 
notwithstanding the silence of her diary upon so many matters of real 


consequence, she always chronicles the attentions bestowed upon her 
brother and herself by kings and nobles. Most of her brother s time 
was spent in making and selling telescopes for other observers, in 
stead of finishing a thirty or forty foot instrument for his own use, 
upon which his heart was set. The king ordered many seven-foot and 
four ten-foot telescopes, one of which was to be sent as a present to 
the observatory at Gottingen. Meantime, through the influence of Sir 
Joseph Banks, 2,000 had been granted to Herschel, to enable him 
to make an instrument for himself. After living in Datchet four years, 
they moved to Slough, in April, 1786, and it was here that Herschel 
put up his famous telescope, and fixed his residence for the rest of 
his life. 


In July of this year he went to Germany to deliver the ten-foot 
telescope from the king, leaving Caroline in charge of matters , at 1 
The stand for the forty-foot telescope was finished, and he left a smit 
at work on the tube. The mirror was also pretty far advanced, 
in- this absence of her brother Miss Herschel discovered her f 


comet. Her diary and letters belonging to this period are very in 
teresting. Her brother left on the 3d, and on that day she cleaned 
and put the polishing-room in order, made the gardener clear the 
work- yard, and mend the fences. " 5th. Spent the morning in needle 
work . . . . " " 6th. Put the philosophical letters in order, and the 
collection of each year in a separate corner . . . . " " 12th. Put 
paper in press for a register . . . . " " 18th. Spent the day in ruling 
paper for the register, except that at breakfast I cut out ruffles for 
shirts . . . . " " <29th. I paid the smith . . . . " 

It was on the 1st of August that she first saw the comet. We 
give her diary at this time in full : 

"August 1st. I have counted 100 nebulae to-day ; and this evening I saw 
an object which, I believe, to-morrow night will prove to be a comet. 

U 2d. To-day I calculated 150 nebulas. I fear it will not be clear to-night. 
It has been raining throughout the whole day, but seems now to clear up a little. 
One o clock. The object of last night is a comet. 

" 3d. I did not go to rest till I had wrote to Dr. Blagden and Mr. Aubert, 
to announce the comet." 

In the letter to Dr. Blagden she says : 

"The employment of writing down the observations when my brother uses 
the twenty-foot reflector does not often allow me time to look at the heavens ; 
but, as he is now on a visit to Germany, I have taken the opportunity to sweep in 
the neighborhood of the sun in search of comets; and last night, the 1st of 
August, about ten o clock, I found an object very much resembling in color and 
brightness the 27 nebulae of the Connoissance des Temps, with the difference, 
however, of being round. I suspected it to be a comet; but, a haziness coming 
on, it was not possible to satisfy myself as to its motion till this evening." 

After describing the object and its position, she concludes: 

"You will do me the favor of communicating these observations to my 
brother s astronomical friends." 

Dr. Blagden replied on August 5th that no one but herself had yet 
seen the comet, but that he had spread the news of her discovery in 
England, France, and Germany. August 7th Mr. Aubert wrote to 
her that he did not find the comet till the 5th on account of cloudy 
weather. He says : 

"I wish you joy most sincerely on the discovery. I am more pleased than 
you can well conceive that you have made it, and I think I see your wonderfully 
clever and wonderfully amiable brother, upon the news of it, shed a tear of joy. 
You have immortalized your name, and you deserve such a reward for your 
assiduity in the business of astronomy, and for your love for so celebrated and 
deserving a brother." 

We give place to the friendly expressions of these gentlemen, and 
others that will follow, to show that Miss Herschel was not hindered 
in her scientific career by the jealousy or antagonism of male rivals, 


of which ambitious women complain so much in these degenerate days. 
She continues the diary of her labors : 

" 4th. I wrote to Hanover ; booked my observations ; made accounts. The 
night is cloudy. 

" 5th. Calculated nebulae all day. The night was tolerably fine, and I saw 
the comet. 

" Qth. I booked my observations of last night. Eeceived a letter from Dr. 
Blagden in the morning, and in the evening Sir J. Banks, Lord Palmerston, and 
Dr. Blagden, came and saw the comet. The evening was very fine. 

"7th and 8th. Booked my observations. On the 8th the evening was 

" 9th. I calculated 100 nebula. 

" 10th. Calculated 100 nebulaa. The smith borrowed a guinea. 

" llth. I completed, to-day, the catalogue of the first thousand. 

"13A. Prof. Kratzensteine, from Copenhagen, was here to-day. In the 
evening I saw the comet, and swept. 

" l-ith. I calculated 140 nebulae to-day, which brought me up to the last- 
discovered nebulae, and therefore the work is finished." 

Miss Herschel says it is impossible for her to give an account of 
all that passed around her in the following two years, for they were 
spent in a perfect chaos of business. 

But in 1788, after he was fifty years old, her brother married a 
wealthy widow, of about the same age as Miss Herschel. It is said 
by the editor that the wife was very amiable and gentle, and that the 
jointure she brought enabled her husband to pursue his scientific ca 
reer without anxiety about expenses. But this was evidently not so. 
We must infer from the statements of Miss Herschel that this wealth, 
like royal patronage, was not applied to relieve Sir William from 
drudgery ; for, to the end of her brother s life, she complains that, 
instead of pursuing original investigations, he had to spend an enor 
mous amount of time and labor making and selling telescopes ; and 
that the fatigue and exhaustion from polishing mirrors told seriously 
upon his health. In 1805, more than a dozen years after his marriage, 
we .hear of his finishing an instrument for the King of Spain, and at 
about the same time another for the Prince of Canino. She further 
says that he was miserably stinted for room for his instruments, and 
continually bemoans the embarrassments and hinderances which de 
feated his plans of study, and asserts that, during the last years of his 
life, his spirits were depressed and his temper soured by these cir 

In her diary, all that Miss Herschel says of her brother s marriage 
is this : 

" It may easily be supposed that I must have been fully employed (besides 
minding the heavens) to prepare everything as well as I could against the time 
I was to give up the place of housekeeper on the 8th of May." 

When, in after-years, she was preparing the materials for her biog- 


raphy, which were to be sent to Sir John Herschel, the son of this new 
sister-in-law, she destroyed all her diary and records for the ten years 
immediately succeeding her brother s marriage. Her biographer and 
relative alludes to her experiences at this time in the following lan 
guage : 

"With saddened heart but unflagging determination she continued to work 
for her brother, but saw his domestic happiness pass into other keeping. It is 
not to be supposed, however, that a nature so strong and a heart so affectionate 
should accept the new state of things without much and bitter suffering. To 
resign the supreme place by her brother s side, which she had filled for sixteen 
years with such hearty devotion, could not be otherwise than painful in any 
case ; but how much more so in this, where equal devotion to the same pursuit 
must have made identity of interest and purpose as complete as it is rare ! One 
who could both feel and express herself so strongly was not likely to fall into 
her new place without some outward expression of what it cost her tradition 
confirms the assumption and it is easy to understand how this long, significant 
silence is due to the light of later wisdom and calmer judgment which counseled 
the destruction of all record of what was likely to be painful to survivors." 

In reference to Herschel s marriage, a writer in the London Ex 
aminer says, "It is impossible to regret or censure the step which 
gave existence to his yet more remarkable son ; " but this is a sin 
gular and tardy justification. In marrying, he did what it was highly 
probable he would do ; and, remembering this, he should not have 
allowed his sister to live so entirely for him. It is not to be supposed, 
however, that he foresaw the unpleasant consequences that fell upon 
her. When the temptation to marry came, he no doubt stupidly fan 
cied that in enriching his own life by this new relation he should add 
to her happiness by bringing her a sister ; but, if he had studied the 
ways of men and women as he studied the heavens, he might have 
saved himself from such a delusion. 

The work she did during the next ten years affords abundant 
evidence of the heroism with which Miss Herschel met her fate. 
Besides discovering seven more comets, she prepared " A Catalogue 
of 860 Stars observed by Flamstead, but not included in the British 
Catalogue," and "A General Index of Reference to Every Observa 
tion of Every Star in the above-mentioned British Catalogue," both 
of which works were published by the Royal Society in 1798. She 
also spent much time upon another work which was not finished for 
many years. It was " The Reduction and Arrangement in the Form 
of a Catalogue, in Zones, of all the Star-Clusters and Nebulae observed 
by Sir W. Herschel in his Sweeps." For this she received the gold 
medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1828, and it was pro 
nounced by Sir David Brewster " a work of immense labor." 

Some account of her discoveries was found in a packet wrapped in 
coarse paper, and labeled " This is what I call the bills and receipts 
of my comets." The separate parcels of this bundle were marked 


" First Comet," " Second Comet," etc. She announced the discovery 
of her second comet to Dr. Maskelyne, the royal astronomer, in the 
following letter, with a postscript by her brother : 

" DEAE SIE : Last night, December 21st, at 7 h 45 , I discovered a comet, a 
little more than one degree south, preceding /3 Lyrse. This morning, between 
five and six, I saw it again, when it appeared to have moved about a quarter of 
a degree toward 6 of the same constellation. I beg the favor of you to take it 
under your protection. 

"Mrs. Herschel and my brothers join with me in compliments to Mrs. Mas 
kelyne and yourself, and I have the honor to remain, 

" Dear sir, your most obliged, humble servant, 

" SLOTJGH, December 22, 1788." 

" P. S. The comet precedes (3 Lyra3 7 5" in time, and is in the parallel of the 
small star (j3 being double). See fifth class, third star, of my catalogue. 


Her brother announced her discovery to Sir J. Banks and Sir H. 
Englefield, and from these gentlemen she received the most cordial 
congratulations. Two years later, on January 7, 1790, the third comet 
was discovered, and on the 17th of April, the same year, when her 
brother was absent, she announced her fourth comet to Sir Joseph 
Banks in the following words : 

u April 19th. 

" SIE: I am very unwilling to trouble you with incomplete observations, and 
for that reason did not acquaint you yesterday with the discovery of a comet. 
I wrote an account of it to Dr. Maskelyne and Mr. Aubert, in hopes that one of 
them woujd furnish me with the means of pointing it out in a proper manner. 
But as several days may pass before my letters are answered, or my brother re 
turns, I would not be thought neglectful, and if you think the following descrip 
tion sufficient, and that more of my brother s astronomical friends should be 
made acquainted with it, I should be very happy if you would be so kind as to 
do it for the sake of astronomy." 

Then follows an account of the comet. The letter, written on the 
day previous, to Mr. Aubert, we give entire : 

" SLOUGH, April 18, 1790. 

"DEAE SIE: I am almost ashamed to write you, because I never think of 
doing so but when I am in distress. I found, last night, at 16" 24 , sidereal 
time, a comet, and do not know what to do with it, for my new sweeper is not 
half finished; and, besides, I broke the handle of the perpendicular motion .in 
my brother s absence (who is on a little tour in Yorkshire). He furnished me to 
that instrument a rhomboides, but the wires are too thin, and I have no means 
for illuminating them. All my hopes were that I should find nothing to make 
me feel the want of these things in his absence; but, as it happens, here u 
object in a place where there is no nebula, or anything which could 1, 
comet, and I would be much obliged to you, sir, if you would look at t 
where the annexed eye-draft will direct you to. My brother has swept i 
part of the heavens, and has many nebula there, but none which I raw 
to see with my instrument. I will not write to Sir J. Banks or Dr. Maskelyne, 

VOL. IX. 5 


or anybody, till you, sir, have seen it ; but if you could, without much trouble, 
give my best respects, and that part of this letter which points out the place of 
the comet, to Mr. Wollaston, you would make me very happy. 

"I am, dear sir, etc., etc., 0. H." 

From all these gentlemen her labors and discoveries received the 
most cordial recognition. In his reply, Sir J. Banks said : " I shall 
take care to make our astronomical friends acquainted with the obli 
gations they are under to your diligence." Mr. Aubert closes his let 
ter with the assurance of the pleasure he felt at her success, and 
with the offer of any instrument she might wish to use; while Dr. 
Maskelyne addressed her as his " worthy sister in astronomy." 

The fifth comet was discovered December 15, 1791, and all that 
she says about it is, " My brother wrote an account of it to Sir J. Banks, 
Dr. Maskelyne, and several other gentlemen." The sixth, found Oc 
tober 8th, is briefly recognized ; and the seventh, discovered Novem 
ber 7, 1795, is known as Encke s comet, because he determined its 
periodicity. It was discovered by four different observers before its 
identity was recognized. Miss Herschel was its second discoverer in 
order of time. Her eighth and last comet was discovered August 6, 

We learn from her diary that in October of this year her home 
with her brother at Slough was broken up, and she went to live in 
solitude in lodgings, arid this mode of life she continued for twenty- 
five years, till her brother s death, when she left England to join her 
relations in Hanover. Why she left her brother s house she does not 
explain, nor is it necessary. In referring to her departure she only 
says : " My telescopes on the roof, to which I was to have occasional 
access, as ^also the room with the sweeping and observing apparatus, 
remained in their former order, where I most days spent some hours in 
preparing work to go on with at my lodgings." In a letter to Dr. 
Maskelyne, written in September, 1798, she says that, during the past 
year, she has not thought herself " well or in spirits enough to vent 
ure from home." She spent her first lonely winter in getting ready 
for the press some of her own astronomical work. 

The account of her life from 1798 until her brother s death, in 
1822, occupies about fifty pages of the volume,, and consists mostly of 
extracts from her diary. It is not a record of discoveries or personal 
triumphs, but of unceasing labor for her brother, knowing no respite 
in sickness or in health, by night or by day, in winter or in summer, 
amid hardships and discouragements that never daunted her affection 
ate nature. During her first year in lodgings, she complains of being 
harassed by the loss of time in going backward and forward, and by 
not having immediate access to books and papers ; and these troubles, 
with varying features, pursued her to the end of her brother s life. 
The first three or four years she changed her lodgings often, but in 
1301 -she settled in HJpton, where she remained till 1810, at which time 


she took possession of a cottage in Slough, belonging to her brother, 
and, although mention is made in her diary of moving again in 1814, 
yet she continued to live in Slough. 

Notwithstanding all her prudence about paining relations, the 
multiplied repetition in her diary of such entries as the following is 
painfully suggestive : 

" March 5th. Went to make some stay with my brothers at Slough, Mrs. 
Herschel being in town. 

" With. All returned, and I went with my work to Upton again. 

" September 24^. Went to work with my brother at Slough. 

" October 1st. Mrs. Herschel and niece returned. I went back to Upton. 

" August 1st. I left Upton for Slough. My brother went with Mrs. Herschel 
and Miss Baldwin on an excursion. I distracted my thoughts by undertaking an 
amazing deal of work. 

"September Sth. My brother and family returned, and I went with my 
works to Upton. 

" May Zd. I left Upton for Slough to work with my brother ; Mrs. Herschel 
being in town till June 18th. 

"November 3d. I came home to Upton (Mrs. Herschel returned from Brigh 
ton), but went most days to assist my brother in the polishing-room or library, 
and, from the 10th of December to the 22d, was entirely at Slough, Mrs. Her 
schel being away. 

"January. I had a cough all the month; the communication between 
Slough and Upton very troublesome to me. 

"March 9th. Went to Slough to work with my brother; his family from 

" May llth. Went to be with my brother; Mrs. Herschel went to town 
for a month. 

" June 12,th. Mrs. Herschel returned from town, and I went home." 

It is pleasant to find, however, that the asperities of this period 
of her life were so much softened by time and distance that in 1829, 
when living in Hanover, she was able to write to her sister-in-law, 
confidentially as to " a dear sister, for as such I now know you." 

The diary closes in 1822, with an account of her brother s death, 
and her departure from England. We quote the following charac 
teristic passage relating to this period. She had come as usual to 
spend the morning with her brother : 

"August 15th. I hastened to the spot where I was wont to find him, with 
the newspaper which I was to read to him. But instead I found Mrs. Morson, 
Miss Baldwin, and Mr. Bulman, from Leeds, the grandson of my brother s earli 
est acquaintance in this country. I was informed my brother had been obliged 
to return to his room, whither I flew immediately. Lady Herschel and the 
housekeeper were with him, administering everything which could be thought 
of for supporting him. I found him much irritated at not being able to grant 
Mr. Bulman s request for some token of remembrance for his father. As soon 
as he saw me, I was sent to the library to fetch one of his last papers, and a 
plate of the forty-foot telescope. But, for the universe, I could not have looked 
twice at what I had snatched from the shelf, and when he faintly asked if the 


breaking up of the milky-way was in it, I said Yes, and he looked content. I 
cannot help remembering this circumstance : it was the last time I was sent to 
the library on such an occasion." 

Her brother William died on the 25th of August, and in the fol 
lowing October she settled in Hanover with her brother Dietrich. 

When her brother died she was herself in feeble health, and ex 
pected soon to follow him to the grave, and it suited her feelings to 
go back to Hanover to die. Besides, she says : 

" My whole life almost has passed away in the delusion that, next to rny el 
dest brother, none but Dietrich was capable of giving me advice where to leave 
my few relics, consisting of a, few books and my sweeper. And for the last 
twenty years I kept to the resolution of never opening my lips to my dear 
brother William about worldly or serious concerns, let me be ever so much at a 
loss for knowing right from wrong. And so it happened that, at a time when I 
was stupefied by grief at seeing the death of my dear brother, I gave myself 
with all I was worth (500 of bank-stock) to my brother Dietrich and his 
family, and, from that time till the death of Dietrich, I found great difficulty to 
remain mistress of my own actions and opinions. In respect to the latter we 
never could agree." 

Her brother William, however, left her a legacy of 100 a year, 
and during the rest of her life her chief study was how to spend this 
sum without making herself ridiculous. 

As was to be expected, after fifty years absence she found Han 
over changed in everything, and little to her taste, and she was also 
grievously disappointed in the generation of relatives with whom she 
lived, and of whom she says : 

" They have never been of the least use to me, and for all the good I have 
lavished on them they never came to look after me, but when they had some 
design upon me." 

In speaking of her return to Hanover, her biographer writes thus : 

"Who can think of her at the age of seventy-two, heart-broken and deso 
late, going back to the home of her youth to find consolation without a pang 
of pity ? She little guessed how much her habits had changed in the different 
world where she had lived for fifty years. She had the bitterness to find her 
self alone with her great sorrow." 

We have no space to give to this part of her life, although it occu 
pies more than half of the volume, to which we must refer our readers. 
It is made up chiefly of her correspondence, and her letters, from their 
unconscious self-portraiture, are quite as interesting as her "Diary" 
or her "Recollections." It is full of interest also on account of the 
details it gives concerning the life of Sir William Herschel, of whom 
no reliable biography has yet appeared. 

She died peacefully in 1848, and her funeral was held in the same 
garrison-church where she was christened and confirmed. According 
to a request made to her favorite niece, a lock of her brother s hair, 


and an almost obliterated almanac, that had been used by her father 
were placed with her in her coffin. The same niece, in a letter written 
at this time to her cousin, Sir John Herschel, says : 

"I felt almost a sense of joyful relief at the death of my aunt, iu the thought 
that now the unquiet heart was at rest. All that she had of love to give was 
concentrated on her beloved brother. . . . She looked upon progress in science 
as so touch detraction from her brother s fame, and even your investigations 
would have become a source of estrangement had she been with you." 



AT a regular meeting of the Executive Committee of the United 
States Centennial Commission, held at Philadelphia, October 
13, 1875, Mr. Beckwith, Commissioner from New York (United 
States Commissioner-General at the International Exhibition at Paris, 
1867), presented the following report upon the selection and appoint 
ment of judges. It was carefully considered and unanimously ap 
proved : 

HON. D. J. MOEEELL, Chairman of the Executive Committee. 

SIR : In compliance with the request of the Executive Committee, I beg leave 
to present for consideration the following suggestions relating to the selection 
and appointment of judges, in conformity with the method of awards decreed 
by the Centennial Commission. 

This method, in many respects, differs radically from the systems hitherto 
tried in International Exhibitions, and, although the subject is familiar to you, I 
shall be pardoned, I hope, for briefly indicating the broad differences. 

Awards have heretofore been generally made by an International Jury of 
about six hundred members. 

The apportionment of jurors to countries has been tried on various bases, 
but was usually made on the basis of the relative space occupied by the products 
of each country respectively, in the Exhibition. 

The Great Jury was divided into numerous small juries, who examined the 
products and prepared lists of the names of persons whom they proposed for 
awards, and the proposals thus made were confirmed or rejected by higher 

The awards consisted chiefly of medals of differents values, gold, silver, i-tr. 

This system brought together a numerous and incongruous assembly, includ 
ing unavoidably many individuals unqualified for the work. 

The basis of representation was apparently fair, but its results were delusive. 

A few countries nearest the Exhibition, whose products could be collected 
and exposed at the smallest proportional expense, occupied large spaces; the 
numerous remote countries filled smaller spaces. 

The number of jurors allotted to the smaller spaces, when distributed, left 


them without jurors on most classes, and in the remainder with only a minority 
which, in voting on awards, had no weight, and the awards were thus in effect 
decreed by the few contiguous countries whose products filled the largest spaces. 
Written reports on the products were not usually made by juries, and, if made, 
were not generally published; consequently no person outside of the jury was 
informed on what ground awards were made. 

The medals, when distributed, were as silent as the verdicts ; moral respon 
sibility for the decisions attached to no one, and the awards thus made conveyed 
as little useful information, and carried as little weight, as anonymous work 
usually carries. 

Medals, at best, are enigmas. They express nothing exactly and definitely 
relative to the products exhibited ; their allegorical designs doubtless have a 
meaning in the mind of the artist who makes them, but allegorical designs are 
primitive and feeble language, and the medal of to-day is no more than its pred 
ecessor, a schoolboy token verdicts upon products determined by majority 
votes of juries in which the producing countries are often represented by useless 
minorities awards based upon anonymous reports, or reports never published, 
and final decisions announced and recorded in the vague and mystic language 
of medals, have not proved satisfactory to producers nor to the public. As re 
gards the diffusion of reliable and useful information, International Exhibitions 
have not come fully up to expectations and to the promise implied in the great 
labor and great expenses which they involved; and the wide-spread dissatisfac 
tion which has uniformly followed the close of jury-work affords in itself strong 
evidence that the system is not well adapted to the purposes of International 

The method of awards adopted by the Centennial Commission differs from 
preceding systems. It dispenses with the International Jury, and substitutes a 
body of two hundred judges, one-half foreign, chosen individually for their 
high qualifications. 

It dispenses, also, with the system of awards by graduated medals, and re 
quires of the judges written reports on the inherent and comparative merits of 
each product thought worthy of an award, setting forth the properties and 
qualities, presenting the considerations forming the ground of the award, and 
avouching each report by the signature of its author. 

The professional judgment and moral responsibility of the judges being thus 
involved, assure the integrity of their reports. As awards to exhibitors, such 
reports will be more valuable than medals, in proportion to the greater amount 
of reliable information which they convey to the public. Their collected repub- 
lication, as hand-books, will form valuable guides for all classes to the most ad 
vanced products of every country, and, last and least, the sales of them can 
hardly fail to return to the Commission a good portion of their cost. 

The success of this method obviously depends on the judicious selection of 
the judges, and to this point I desire to call particular attention. 

In this connection it may be remarked that the best judges of products are 
not usually found among their producers, but among their consumers. 

To select a wine, for example, of particular character, one would not apply 
to wine-growers, but to dealers and consumers. On the merits of an engine, 
you would prefer the opinion of the engineer who uses it, to that of the engi 
neer who invented or made it. The sugars and coffees of Brazil, Cuba, Java, 
etc., are best judged in the great markets of consumption. In brief, the food- 
products of the world find their most accurate appreciations, as regards their 
inherent qualities and comparative merits, in the great consuming markets, 


where similar products from all regions are gathered, and the practical judgment 
of the using and consuming public is pronounced, from which there is no appeal. 

The principle in this applies not only to raw products, but in a general sense 
to manufactures and to industrial products of all kinds in general use. 

In this view of the subject, the method of awards adopted by the Centennial 
Commission presents the great advantage that it is judicial rather than repre 
sentative, and the Commission is perfectly free to select judges from the best 
sources, regardless of localities. 

The men to seek for are those who, by their ability, education, character, 
and experience, are fittest for the work, and they will be less difficult to find 
than to obtain, being generally employed, and frequently connected with large 
industries, important works, and the higher institutions to which their superior 
qualifications have led them. 

Freedom to choose our judges from the best sources cannot fail to produce 
good results if the selection be made upon proper investigation, with suitable 
care and without favor. 

The announcement of this method of awards has been received ia foreign 
countries, as far as heard from, with expressions of distinct approbation, and 
there can be no doubt that they will select and bring to us their hundred 
judges, who will be distinguished by their reliable and solid qualifications, and 
it is incumbent on us to select a body of men of character, able and expert in 
their respective callings, and equal in attainments and experience to our foreign 
cooperatives, with whom our own will be intimately associated. 

I need hardly add that the useful results and success of our Exhibition and 
the public satisfaction which it should produce, as well as the reputation of this 
Commission, as practical and sensible men, depend largely on the selection of 
our judges, and finally upon their organization and work. . . . 

Kespectfully submitted, N. M. BKCKWITH. 

NEW YOBK, October 9, 18T5. 



THE improvements in telegraphy, about which the public has lately 
been learning a good deal through the newspapers, really con 
stitute a remarkable element of progress, and are deserving of sepa 
rate consideration. , With the fire-alarm, domestic, and district 
graphs in our cities, the reduced rates and increased efficiency of the 
$reat lines and the further improvements promised us, it does not 
seem too much to expect that the telegraph will soon rival the pos 
office and the press as a bearer and diffuser of intelligence. 

The failure of the English postal telegraph to fulfill the sangu 
prophecies of its advocates will hardly be held to militate again 
this view when it shall be shown what the nature of these improve 
ments is. Prof. Jevons, in a late number of the Fortnightly Review, 
has indicated the causes of this failure. It was taken for grants 
the promoters of the scheme, he asserts, that, as in the case 


Post-office, a vast increase of business might be done with but little 
more expense. Accordingly, to gain the increased business they re 
duced the rates one-half, and succeeded but not in a pecuniary sense. 
Prof. Jevons ascribes this disappointing result to the great cost of 
erecting and maintaining the lines ; to their small carrying capacity 
when compared with that of a railroad-train ; and to the number of 
hands and heads which each telegraphic message has to pass through 
before reaching its destination, and whicji must all be paid. But the 
progress of the last five years, made principally in this country, has 
demonstrated that these difficulties are not insuperable. 

In order of time, the first important step toward this end was the 
Duplex Telegraph of Mr. Joseph Stearns, of Boston, Massachusetts. Its 
object is to allow of two operators using the same wire to send mes 
sages in opposite directions simultaneously. To persons having only 
a general acquaintance with the ordinary working of the telegraph, 
this at first seemed impossible ; and, when it was accomplished, it was 
held by many some scientific men among the number to furnish 
an indubitable proof of the theory that the electric waves, or currents, 
or whatever they might be held to be, necessarily passed each other 
in contrary directions over the wire. That they do not will be evident 
from the subjoined explanation. 

It must be remembered that the galvanic battery gives birth to a 
force which returns in a circuit to where it was generated, and accel 
erates the liberation of more force, being like a steam-engine em 
ployed partly in fanning its own fire. This circuit can be performed 
much more easily through great lengths of some substances, such as 
the earth and metals, than through very small spaces of others, as the 
air and the dilute acid of the battery. Galvanic electricity is> there 
fore, strictly confined in a sort of mill-round ; or it may best, for our 
present purposes, be represented by water flowing through such a 
system of water-courses as is shown in the annexed cut. We will 

FIG. 1. 

suppose them to include a reservoir and a secondary circuit at each 
end. Let the reservoirs A and B have water pumped into them by 
force-pumps, and distributed by them to both the main and secondary 
circuits, in equal quantities and in the direction of the arrows, so as 
to maintain the water-wheels X and W in the same positions. The 
highest points in the system must be supposed to be at the front of the 
reservoirs, and the lowest at the back of them. 

If an additional volume of water come from A, being equally divided 


on each side of TFJ it will not move that wheel, but it will move the 
wheel X by destroying the balance which previously existed there. 
But, if a similar extra volume be at the same time se$t from B, the 
pressure in that part of the circuit between TFand X will overcome 
the opposing forces at each of the points, and both wheels will be 
worked, each virtually by the distant reservoir and not by its own. 

If we substitute galvanic batteries for the reservoirs, wires for the 
water-courses, and electricity for the water, this gives us the princi 
ple of the duplex telegraph, and it is obvious that no currents passing 
one another in contrary directions are necessary to it. It will be well to 
keep this in mind when we come to describe the quadruplex system. 

Following the duplex, the American Automatic system may be 
said to have been perfected in 1873. The great rapidity with which 
messages are transmitted and recorded by it is its principal advan 
tage, but it has others as requiring a smaller force of operators and 
less specially skilled. The usual work of a Morse operator is acknowl 
edged to be about 1,500 words an hour, and European operators do 
not average half as much ; but, by the automatic method, to receive 
and print double that number of words per minute is an ordinary feat, 
and as many as 7,000 words fourteen pages of this magazine have 
been legibly recorded in that time. As every word contains, on an 
average, five letters, and as each letter is represented by a varying 


FIG. 2,-MoKSB KEY AXD KEGISTER. (From Deschanel.) 

number of dots and dashes, each formed by a separate discharge, the 
circuit, it is calculated, must be "closed" and "broken," and the chen 
icals in the battery must cease and recommence their action 60,00 
times per minute, in the ordinary working of the automatic syst 


In every form of electric telegraph the signals are given by an in 
termittent flow of electricity. In the Morse system a " key " is used 
which, in its normal position, " breaks " the circuit, but when depressed 
by the finger of the operator allows the electricity to pass through it 
on its mission. Arrived at the distant station, it is converted, by 
means of an electro-magnet, into mechanical motion, which is utilized 
either to produce indentations in a moving slip of paper by means of 
a style, or, more commonly, to give a series of taps, which the operator 
understands, by an instrument called a " sounder." 

In the automatic system the means employed are altogether dif 
ferent. The message is, first of all, prepared by punching holes in a 
narrow ribbon of paper. These perforations are so grouped as to 
represent the dots and dashes of the telegraphic alphabet, and by 
the punching-machine, which is very complicated, all that are required 
to form a letter are punched at one stroke. In comparing the two sys 
tems this must not be lost sight of, as the time taken in punching 
must, of course, be added to the time of transmission. The machine, 
however, does its work more quickly than the Morse operator with 
his key, and, the time occupied in transmitting being so vastly less, 
the " automatic " may claim to have rendered old-fashioned telegra 
phy comparatively slow. 

After the perforated slip of paper has been prepared, it is taken to 
the operator s table, where it is made to move forward rapidly be 
tween a metallic drum and a needle carrying two small steel wheels 
which rest upon it. Drum and wheels form part of the circuit, which 
is broken by the non-conducting paper interposed and closed wher. 
the holes permit of the wheels and the metallic cylinder beneath 
coming into contact. At the receiving-station a very similar arrange 
ment does duty as a register. The paper slip is there saturated with 
a certain chemical solution which renders its w T hole substance a good 
conductor, and, instead of the wheels, there is an iron style or " pen." 
When electricity arrives over the line, it decomposes the moisture of 
the paper into oxygen and hydrogen, and oxidizes or rusts the pen. 

D o 

O O 

FIG. 3. 

A little of this oxide is rubbed off by the quickly-moving paper, and 
enters into combination with the chemical still contained in it, pro 
ducing a stain in the form of a dot or dash which corresponds with 
the holes punched in the paper at the sending-station. Where three 
holes come together, both wheels form a contact, and a dash is pro 
duced, because the second wheel touches the cylinder while the first 
passes over the paper between the upper holes. 


The germ of the automatic system, as we have described it, was 
contained in the " Chemical Telegraph " invented by Alexander Bain, 
a Scotchman, in 1846. Bain was the first to use the perforated paper 
to transmit and the chemically-prepared paper to receive the message. 
But his invention, from a practical point of view, bears about the 
same relation to the American system which the steam-engine as 
known to the ancients does to that of James Watt. Bain s system, 
improved by the late Sir Charles Wheatstone and known as Wheat- 
stone s automatic system, is employed to a limited extent in Great 
Britain ; but, thus improved, its speed does not exceed 60 to 10o 
words a minute. It is therefore proper to regard the American Au 
tomatic Telegraph as a distinct American invention. In its present 
form, we owe it to Mr. Thomas A. Edison, of Newark, New Jersey. 

The accompanying cut (Fig. 4) illustrates the results of attempting 

oo o 

FIG. 4. 

high speed on the Bain telegraph. Instead of recording themselves 
by decided dots and dashe.s, the electric discharges leave indistinct 
and elongated traces, which, when the speed amounts to 300 words 
or over, run into one another and make a continuous line. This effect 
is due to the property which all electrified bodies have of inducing 
electricity in neighboring bodies. The earth, reacting on the line wire 
suspended above it, induces in it what is called an extra current, both 
on closing and breaking the circuit. On first closing the circuit the 
extra current runs in the contrary direction to the primary, and re 
tards and weakens its action, so that, if suffered to record itself 
would do so by a mark like this : ~ the long after-part 

being caused partly by the accumulated electricity and partly fc 
second extra current which is in the same direction with the pn 

6 A 

FIG. 5. 

By Mr. Edison s plan the evil is made to cure itself. He ..mplj 
interposes another wire with a coil, shown at A 
This divides the current, one part of which u again subdivided 


reaching the earth, and a moiety of it ascending the ground-line at 
D counteracts the first weak installment of the other. Then, as each 
turn of the coil, 6 y , acts the part of the earth on the turn next it, the 
whole sets up another powerful extra current, which at first forces 
the full strength of the main current through the recording instru 
ment, and ultimately counteracts the accumulated electricity and the 
second extra current due to the earth. In practice, several such lines 
are used, and magnets, which are preferable, instead of coils. This 
occasions a great loss of electricity, but the sensitiveness of the re 
ceiving apparatus is such that less than one-fourth of the total strength 
of the current is sufficient to give a good record. 

The chemical used by Bain in his sensitized paper was ferrocyanide 
of potassium, which, with the oxide from the iron pen and an extra 
equivalent of oxygen, forms Prussian blue. The oxygen of the air, it 
has been found, protracts this action, and thus arises another source 
of confusion, which is not affected by the device just described. A pref 
erable combination, requiring only the protoxide of iron, which is 
formed immediately by the electricity, is used in the American system. 

One of the most curious of the recent discoveries respecting the 
chemical action of electricity is that of its usefulness, under certain 
circumstances, as a lubricator. During Mr. Edison s experiments on 
the automatic telegraph he perceived that, when using a paper soaked 
in a certain solution, the pen was apt to slip whenever a discharge 
occurred. This effect was found to be so marked that a person draw 
ing a strip of metal along the paper leaning rather heavily on it 
finds his hand obliged to move in a succession of jerks when signals 
are sent by a current powerful enough to overcome the resistance of 
his body. On this principle, Mr. Edison has constructed a little in 
strument in which a style is kept pressed against the paper by springs 
so as to make a continuous indentation, except when the current is 
passing. Its record is, therefore, the reverse of that of a Morse regis 
ter ; but the " electromotograph," as it is called, differs also from the 
" Morse " in being the most sensitive recording instrument known. 

Still another of Mr. Edison s inventions is the quadruplex telegraph, 
the principal aim of which is, not to augment the speed of signaling, 
but, like the duplex, to allow of several persons using the same wire 
at one time. In fact, the arrangement may be used as a duplex tele 
graph, if required, so that the wire is by it made susceptible of either 
double or quadruple employ. 

The instruments used are modifications of those of the Morse sys 
tem. The " key " has already been shown in Fig. 2, and the changes 
made to adapt it to the uses of the quadruplex telegraph may be un 
derstood from Fig. 5. The essential part of the receiving instrument 
is an electro-magnet, which is shown in Fig. 2, and consists of a bent 
bar of soft iron, surrounded at each end by a coil of wire connected 
with the wire of the line. The current, passing through these coils, 


communicates to the iron core magnetic properties, and enables it to 
attract another piece of iron or steel called its armature ; but, when 
the current ceases, the magnetism ceases also, and a spring too weak 
to neutralize it draws back the armature. It is shown in section at 
3fj in Fig. 6. When the armature and the lever carrying it are dis 
carded, and instead of them a jointed tongue of steel, as at PJ/, is 
inserted between the poles of the magnet, it will be unaffected by the 
current except when a change occurs in its direction. It is then called 
a polarized magnet. Its use will be explained a little further on. One 

FIG. 6. 

of the keys, /i", in the diagram, is provided with a spring, which is 
in contact with the metal of the key when this latter is in its normal 
position, and maintains across the key a circuit including a portion ot 
the battery V. But when the key is depressed the spring comes in 
contact with a screw, to which another circuit is connected, apply 
ing the full strength of the battery to the line. The circuit across the 
key is never broken, because the spring remains in contact with the 
arm of the key until it begins to press against the screw. This key 
works the magnet M, which has its retractile spring so adjusted as 
to be overcome only by the full intensity of the current when the key 
is down. The other key, K , is for changing the direction of the cur 
rent, and working the polarized magnet, P M. Its construction is such 
that, when not in use, one pole of the battery, the positive, for exam 
ple, is in connection with the line, and the negative with the earth, 
necessitating the passage of the current through the lino in the first 
place ; but when the key is touched the negative pole is connect! 
" to line " and the positive to earth, reversing the direction 
current. These reversals of direction operate, as has been said, tl 
polarized magnet P M. 

To revert to the illustration we made use of in describing 
plex, let the reader picture to himself a water-course in which b 


the direction and the volume of the current can be changed at pleas 
ure. He can suppose, in addition to the water-wheels before figured, 
and which will indicate the force of the stream, a pair of hinged valves 
or gates, which, whether the current be strong or weak, will be moved 
only by a change in its direction. The former will represent the or 
dinary magnets, and the latter the polarized magnets. 

It -is plain that, so far, this is only another form of duplex, sending 
two messages in the same direction at once. To make it a quadruplex 
telegraph it is necessary, in the first place, to add to it Stearns s du 
plex, or a contrivance similar to it. Even then a dead-lock would 
happen when the currents sent from each end of the line should be of 
the same intensity, and opposite in direction ; that is, when all eight 
operators were working together. To remedy this, extra batteries 
are introduced, which are neutralized by part of the current in the 
main circuit, when that is in a working condition, but are set free to 
work the instruments when the currents in the main circuit destroy 
one another. In the diagram the extra batteries, etc., have been omit 
ted, as also the transmitting apparatus of one station and the record 
ing instruments of the other. 

Although not strictly coming under its title, because belonging, 
as yet, rather to the future, this article would hardly be complete with 
out some reference to a scheme of multiplex telegraphy which prom 
ises results of the greatest importance. The ingenious magnetic 
apparatus used by Prof. Helmholtz, of Berlin, in his researches in 
acoustics, was too suggestive not to have inspired more than one in 
ventor with the idea of turning it to account in telegraphy. Accord 
ingly, several, both here and in Europe, have been trying to realize it, 
and it is likely that the magnetically-excited tuning-forks, or the so 
norous steel bars which may be substituted for them, will shortly be 
heard in every telegraph-office. There seems, so far, to be no ascer 
tained limit to the number of distinct musical notes which may be 
propagated on a single wire at one time; and, when that limit is 
found, it is likely that it may be doubled or quadrupled by means of 
the- former systems. The reduction in the cost of erection and main 
tenance of wires which this will bring about will be an enormous 
saving to telegraph companies, especially to any new ones that may 
be formed, or to the Government, if it should undertake the control 
and extension of the service. 

An interesting experiment of Sir Charles Wheatstone s on the trans 
mission of sound through solid linear conductors has, perhaps, helped 
to suggest this approaching transformation of the telegraph. An ac 
count of it was published in 1831. A narrow wooden rod was attached 
at one end to the sounding-board of a piano, and, after passing through 
two empty rooms, was joined at the other end to a sounding-board 
alone. Any piece of music played on the piano was distinctly heard 
by means of the sounding-board in the distant room. And not the 


least confusion ensued from the crowding together, for a considerable 
distance, of the multitude of intricately-related vibrations in a rod 
having a section of but one square inch. 

Prof. Helmholtz s apparatus consisted of a number of electro-mag 
nets acting on tuning-forks pitched to particular notes. His object 
was so to combine those notes as to demonstrate the formation of 
certain harmonious sounds ; but the object of the telegraph-inventors 
is the reverse of that, namely, to transmit them in the form of electric 
vibrations to a distance, and then as in Wheatstone s experiment 
to sift them out again to separate instruments. In most of the plans 
so far made public, a fixed steel bar takes the place of the tuning-fork, 
and therefore of the armature as welL When attracted by the mag 
net, on making a signal, it is of course set vibrating ; and, at every 
forward vibratory movement, it closes the circuit and transmits an 
electric impulse. A number of such magnets, their sonorous arma 
tures sending each a different number of pulsations in a second, may 
be working away at once, and the corresponding instruments at the 
other end of the line will be acted on only by those which suit their 
times of vibration. In other words, of the total number of electric 
charges sent into the line, only those will act on any particular mag 
net at the receiving end which suffice to cause in its armature the 
number of vibrations per second to which it was set. This, of course, 
is th same number which was sent by the transmitting instrument 
of the same pair. Practically, the different tones are not reproduced 
quite unmixed, every armature being capable of responding though 
in a less degree, to other notes than its own ; so that the effect on 
the ear, at one of the receiving magnets, is like that of a number of 
persons talking together in different keys : some quite loudly ; some 
in a lower tone; others in a whisper. To remedy this, different forms 
of resonators are being tried, adapted to swell the special sounds that 
should be heard. 

The " electromotograph," described in connection with chemical 
telegraphs, is intended, by its inventor, to be used with some form of 
this acoustic system. Mr. Gray, of Chicago, another well-known tele 
graph-inventor, is also understood to have made considerable prog 
ress in this direction. 

It is matter of reasonable pride to find, at the commencement < 
our second century, the names of Americans so prominently connected 
with all the great improvements in the art which owes so much 
the labors of Morse and Henry. 



BY G. J. KOMANES, M. A., F. L. S. 

AMONG several other topics which are dealt with in an interest 
ing article entitled " Animal Depravity " that appeared in the 
Quarterly Journal of Science for October last, the writer alludes to the 
question as to whether or not the rudiments of a moral sense are dis 
cernible in animals. This question I consider to be of so much im 
portance from a psychological point of view that, although a great 
deal of observation which I have directed toward its enlightenment 
has hitherto yielded but small results, I am tempted to publish the 
latter, such as they are, in the hope that, if they serve no better end, 
they may perhaps induce some other observers to bestow their atten 
tion upon this very interesting subject. 

I may first briefly state what I conceive to be the theoretical 
standing of the subject. At the present day, when the general theory 
of evolution is accepted by all save the ignorant or the prejudiced, 
the antecedent probability is overwhelming that our moral sense, like 
all our other psychological faculties, has been evolved. The question 
as to the causes of its evolution has been discussed in the "Descent 
of Man," and this with all the breadth of thought and force of fact so 
characteristic of the writings which have exerted an influence upon 
human thought more profound than has been exerted by the writings 
of any other single man not even excepting Aristotle in philosophy 
or Newton in science. Mr. Herbert Spencer, also, has treated of this 
subject, and, if his wonderful " programme" is ever destined to attain 
completion, we may expect copious results when his great powers are 
brought to bear upon the "Principles of Morality." Meanwhile, 
however, we have ample evidence to render it highly probable that at 
any rate the leading causes in the development of our moral sense 
have had their origin in the social instincts. Indeed, to any one who 
impartially considers this evidence in the light of the general theory 
of evolution, it must appear wellnigh incredible that so considerable 
a body of proof cati ever admit of being overcome. Nor is this all. 
Not only is it true that so much success has attended Mr. Darwin s 
method of determining synthetically the causes which have been in 
strumental in evolving the moral sense, 1 but, long before any scientific 
theory of evolution had been given to the world, our great logician 
following in the track of Hume (whose part in this matter has not, I 
think, been sufficiently appreciated), Bentham, and others proved 

1 I willingly indorse the just tribute recently paid to this part of Mr. Darwin s work 
by Prof. Clifford : " To my mind the simplest and clearest and most profound philosophy 
that was ever written upon this subject is to be found in chapters ii. and iii. of Mr. Dar 
win s Descent of Man. " Fortnightly Review, p. 794. 


analytically, to the satisfaction of all competent and impartial thinkers, 
that the moral sense is rooted in " the greatest amount of happiness 
principle " as its sustaining source. In other words, John Stuart Mill, 
by examining conscience as he found it to exist in man, showed that 
it depends upon the very principle upon which it ought to depend, 
supposing Mr. Darwin s theory elaborated, be it remembered, with 
out any reference to Mr. Mill s analysis, and arrived at by a totally 
different line of inquiry concerning the causes of its evolution to be 
the true one. 

Stronger evidence, then, as to the physical causes whose operation 
has brought human conscience into being, we could scarcely expect, 
in the present condition of physical science, to possess. It is unneces 
sary, however, in this place to enter into the details of this evidence, 
as almost every educated person must be more or less acquainted 
with them. I shall therefore pass on to the next point which con 
cerns us namely, supposing the causes of our moral sense to have 
had their origin in the social instincts, where and to what extent 
should we expect to find indications of an incipient moral sense in 
animals? First, then, what do we meaii by conscience? AYe mean 
that faculty of our minds which renders possible remorse or satisfac 
tion for past conduct, which has been respectively injurious or bene 
ficial to others. 1 This, at least, is what I conceive conscience to be in 
its last resort. No doubt, as we find it in actual operation, the faculty 
in question has reference to ideas of a higher abstraction than that of 
the fellow-man whom we have injured or benefited. In most cases 
the moral sense has reference to the volitions of a Deity, and in others 
to- the human race considered as a whole. But, if the moral sense has 
been developed in the way here supposed, its root-principle must be 
that which has reference to ideas of no higher abstraction than those 
of parent, neighbor, or tribe. Now, even in this its most rudimentary 
phase of development, conscience presupposes a comparatively high 
order of intelligence as the prime condition of its possibility. For 
not only does the faculty as above defined require a good memory as 
a condition essential to its existence, but what is of much greater 
importance it also requires the power of reflecting upon past con 
duct; and this, it is needless to say, appears to be a much rarer 
quality in the psychology of animals than is mere memory. 

Thus, if Mr. Darwin s theory concerning the origin and develop 
ment of the moral sense is true,, we should not expect to find any in 
dications of this faculty in any animals that are too low in the psy 
chological scale to be capable of reflecting upon their past conduct, 
Whether this limitation does not exclude all animals whatever is a 
question with which I am not here concerned. I merely assert that, 
if the theory in question is the true one, and if no animals are capable 

1 For reasons which maj- easily be gathered from the next succeeding sentences, I 
omit conscientious ideas of whfit is due to self. 

VOL. IX. 6 


of reflecting upon their past conduct, then no animals can possess a 
moral sense, properly so called. And from this, of course, it follows 
that, if any animals can be shown to possess a moral sense, they 
are thereby also shown to be capable of reflecting "upon their past 

Again, if Mr. Darwin s theory concerning the origin and develop 
ment of the moral sense is true, it is self-evident that we should not 
expect to find any indications of this faculty in animals that are either 
unsocial or unsympathetic. Supposing the theory true, therefore, our 
search for animals in which we may expect to find any indications of 
a moral sense is thus seen to be very restricted in its range : we can 
only expect to find such indications in animals that are highly intel 
ligent, social, and sympathetic. Since, by the hypothesis, conscience 
requires a comparatively rare collocation of conditions for its develop 
ment, we must expect to find it a comparatively rare product. 

Lastly, as it is quite certain that no animal is capable of reflecting 
upon past conduct in any high degree, and as we have just seen that 
the moral sense depends upon the faculty of so reflecting, it follows 
that we cannot expect to find any animal in which the moral sense 
attains any high degree of development. 

We are now in a position to draw some important distinctions. 
There are several instincts and feelings which, when expressed in out 
ward action, more or less simulate conscience (so to speak), but which 
it would be erroneous to call by that name. For instance, the mater 
nal instinct, although it leads in many cases to severe and sustained 
self-denial for the benefit of the offspring, is nevertheless clearly dis 
tinct from conscience. The mother in tending her young does so in 
obedience to an inherited instinct, and not from any fear of subsequent 
self-reproach if she leaves her family to perish. She follows the ma 
ternal instinct, so long as it continues in operation, just as she would 
follow any other instinct ; and it is, as it were, a mere accident of the 
case that in this particular instance the course of action which the 
instinct prompts is a course of action which is conducive to the wel 
fare of others. An illustration will render this distinction more clear. 
In his chapter on the "Moral Sense," Mr. Darwin alludes to the con 
flict of instincts which sometimes occurs in swallows when the migra 
tory season overtakes a late brood of young birds ; at such times 
" swallows, house-martins, and swifts, frequently desert their tender 
young, leaving them to perish miserably in their nests." And further 
on he remarks: " When arrived at the end of their long journey, and 
the migratory instinct has ceased to act, what an agony of remorse 
the bird would feel if, from being endowed with great mental activity, 
she could not prevent the image constantly passing through her mind 
of her young ones perishing in the bleak north from cold and hunger ! " 
In other words, if we could suppose the mother-bird under such cir 
cumstances to be capable of reflecting upon her past conduct, and, as 


a consequence, suffering an " agony of remorse," then the bird might 
properly be said to be conscience-stricken. And if we could suppose 
the bird, while still brooding over her young ones, to foresee the agony 
of remorse she would subsequently feel if she now yields to the stronger 
instinct by deserting her young, then the bird might properly be said 
to be acting conscientiously. 

Again, mere fear of punishment must not be confused with con 
science it being of the essence of conscientious action that it should 
be prompted by feelings wholly distinct from fear of retaliation by 
the object of injury, whether by way of punishment or revenge. Con 
science must be capable of effecting its own punishment if violated ; 
otherwise the principle of action, whatever it may be, must be called 
by some other name. 1 

It is evident that conscience, as we find it in ourselves, is distinct 
from love of approbation and fear of disapprobation. Nevertheless, 
if our hypothesis concerning the development of the moral sense is the 
true one, we should expect that during the early phases of that devel 
opment love of approbation and fear of disapprobation should have 
played a large part in the formation of conscience. For although, by 
the hypothesis, it is sympathy and not self-love that constitutes the 
seat of the moral sense, still the particular manifestations of self-love 
with which we are now concerned viz., desire of approbation and dis 
like of the reverse would clearly be impossible but for the presence 
of sympathy. "Mr. Bain has clearly shown that the love of praise, 
and the strong feeling of glory, and the still stronger horror of scorn 
and infamy, are due to the workings of sympathy. I think, there 
fore, that in testing by observations upon the lower animals the 
truth of Mr. Darwin s theory concerning the genesis of conscience, it 
would be no valid objection to any satisfactory instances of conscien 
tious action in an animal to say that such action is partly due to a de 
sire of praise or a fear of blame. This would be no valid objection, 
because, in the first place, it would in most cases be impossible to say 
how far the implication is true how far the animal may have acted 
from pure sympathy or regard for the feelings of others, and how far 
from an admixture of sympathy with self-love; and in the next place, 
even if the implication be conceded wholly true, it would not tend t 
disprove the theory in question. If an animal s sympathies are s 
powerful that, even after being reflected through self-love, they s 
retain force enough to prompt a course of action which is in direct op 
position to the more immediate dictates of self-love, then the sympa 
thies of such an animal are hereby proved to be sufficiently e 

i Of course I recognize fear of punishment as an important factor in the original con- 
Dilution of the moral sentiment; but, for reasons stated at the end of tins article, w, 
must, when treating of animal psychology, eliminate this factor when conscience has 
sufficiently developed to be " a law to itself." 
. i Descent of Man," p. 109 (1874). Mental and Moral Science," p. 254 (18 


constitute the beginnings of a conscience, supposing the theory which 
we are testing to be thelrue one. 

Similarly, there is an obvious distinction in ourselves between in 
jured conscience and injured pride. But, if conscience has been devel 
oped in the way here supposed, it follows that in the rudimentary 
stages of such development the distinction in question cannot be so 
well denned. Pride presupposes consideration for the opinion of 
others, and this in turn as we have just seen presupposes sympathy, 
which is the foundation-stone of conscience. JSI ow, it is certain that 
long before we reach, in the ascending scale of animal psychology, in 
tellectual faculties sufficiently exalted to admit even of our suspecting 
the presence of an incipient moral sense, we can perceive abundant 
indications of the presence of pride. And, forasmuch as animals that 
are high in the psychological scale frequently exhibit a very profound 
appreciation of their own dignity, we may pretty safely conclude that 
in no case can we expect to find indications of a moral sense in an ani 
mal without a greater or less admixture of pride. 

I will now sum up this rather tedious preamble : From Mr. Dar 
win s theory concerning the development of conscience, it appears 
to follow that the presence of this faculty in animals must be restrict 
ed if it occurs at all to those which are intelligent enough to be ca 
pable in some degree of reflecting upon past conduct, and which like 
wise possess social and sympathetic instincts. From the first of these 
conditions it follows, supposing Mr. Darwin s theory true, that in the 
case of no animal should we expect to find the moral sense developed 
in any other than a low degree. 

There is no reason to suppose any mere instinct (such as the ma 
ternal) due to conscience; for an instinct acquired by inheritance is 
obeyed blindly, in order to avoid the uncomfortable sensation which 
ensues in a direct manner if it is not so obeyed ; whereas conscience 
enforces obedience only through a process of reflection ; 1 the uncom 
fortable sensation which non-obedience entails in this case being only 
brought about in an indirect manner through the agency of repre 
sentative thought. 

Although conscience in man is independent of, or distinct from, 
love of approbation, fear of reproach, and sense of pride, there is no 
reason why we should suppose conscience in its rudimentary forms to 
be independent of these passions. On the contrary, I think we should 
expect a rudimentary form of conscience to be more or less amalga 
mated with such passions ; for, long before the faculty in question has 
attained the highly-differentiated state in which we find it to be pres 
ent in ourselves, it must (by the hypothesis) have passed through in- 

1 i. e., originally : when once the habit of yielding obedience to conscience has been 
acquired, it becomes itself of the nature of an instinct neglect to practise this habit giv 
ing rise immediately, or without any process of reflection, to an uncomfortable state of 
the mind. 


numerable states of lesser differentiation in which its existence was 
presumably more and more bound up with that of those more primary 
social instincts from which it first derived its origin. To us con 
science means a massive consolidation of innumerable experiences, in 
herited and acquired, of remorse following one class of actions and 
gratification their opposites ; and this massive body of experience has 
reference to ideas of an abstraction so high as to extend far beyond 
the individual, or even the community, which our actions primarily 
affect. No wonder, therefore, that, when any course of action is being 
contemplated, conscience asserts her voice within us as a voice of 
supreme authority, commanding us to look beyond all immediate is 
sues, inclinations, and even sympathies, to those great principles of 
action which the united experience of mankind has proved to be best 
for the individual to follow in all his attempts to promote the hap 
piness or to alleviate the misery of his race. But with animals, of 
course, the case is different. They start with a very small allowance 
of hereditary experience in the respects we are considering ; they have 
very few opportunities of adding to those experiences themselves ; they 
probably have no powers of forming abstract ideas; and so their 
moral sense, rudimentary in its nature, can never be exercised with 
reference to anything other than concrete objects relation, compan 
ion, or herd. 

We may now proceed to answer the question already propounded, 
namely : Supposing Mr. Darwin s theory concerning the origin of the 
moral sense to be true, where among animals should we expect to find 
indications of such a sense ? I think reflection will show that the three 
essential conditions to the presence of a moral sense are only complied 
with among animals in the case of three groups namely, dogs, ele 
phants, and monkeys. I need not say anything about the intelligence 
or the sociability of these animals, for it is proverbial that there are 
no animals so intelligent or more social. It is necessary, however, to 
say a 1 few words about sympathy. 

In the case of dogs sympathy exists in an extraordinary degree. I 
have- myself seen the life of a terrier saved by another dog which 
staid in the same house with him, and with which he had always 
lived in a state of bitter enmity. Yet, when the terrier was one day 
attacked by a large dog, which shook him by the back, and would 
certainly have killed him, his habitual enemy rushed to the rescue, and, 
after saving the terrier, had great difficulty in getting away himself. 

With regard to elephants, I may quote the well-known instance 
from the " Descent of Man : " " Dr. Hooker informs me that an ele 
phant, which he was riding in India, became so deeply bogged that 
he remained stuck fast until next day, when he was extracted by . 
means of ropes. Under such circumstances elephants seize with their 
trunks any object, dead or alive, to place under their knees, to pre 
vent their sinking deeper in the mud ; and the driver was dreadfully 


afraid lest the animal should have seized Dr. Hooker and crushed him 
to death. But the driver himself, as Dr. Hooker was assured, ran no 
risk. This forbearance, under an emergency so dreadful for a heavy 
animal, is a wonderful proof of noble fidelity." 1 

Many cases of sympathy in monkeys might be given, but I shall 
confine myself to stating one which I myself witnessed at the Zoologi 
cal Gardens. 2 A year or two ago, there was an Arabian baboon and 
an Anubis baboon confined in one cage, adjoining that which con 
tained a dog-headed baboon. The Anubis baboon passed its hand 
through the wires of the partition, in order to purloin a nut which the 
large dog-headed baboon had left within reach expressly, I believe, 
that it might act as a bait. The Anubis baboon very well knew the 
danger he ran, for he waited until his bulky neighbor had turned his 
back upon the nut with the appearance of having forgotten all about 
it. The dog-headed baboon, however, was all the time slyly looking 
round with the corner of his eye, and no sooner was the arm of his 
victim well within his cage than he sprang with astonishing rapidity 
and caught the retreating hand in his mouth. The cries of the Anu 
bis baboon quickly brought the keeper to the rescue, when, by dint 
of a good deal of physical persuasion, the dog-headed baboon was in 
duced to let go his hold. The Anubis baboon then retired to the 
middle of his cage, moaning piteously, and holding the injured hand 
against his chest while he rubbed it with the other one. The Arabian 
baboon now approached him from the top part of the cage, and, while 
making a soothing sound, very expressive of sympathy, folded the 
sufferer in its arms exactly as a mother would her child under simi 
lar circumstances. It must be stated, also, that this expression of 
sympathy had a decidedly quieting effect upon the sufferer, his moans 
becoming less piteous so soon as he was enfolded in the arms of his 
comforter ; and the manner in which he laid his cheek upon the bosom 
of his friend was as expressive as anything could be of sympathy ap 
preciated. This really affecting spectacle lasted a considerable time, 
and while watching it I felt that, even had it stood alone, it would in 
itself have been sufficient to prove the essential identity of some of 
the noblest among human emotions with those of the lower animals. 

If there is any validity in the foregoing antecedent reflections, all 
who have the opportunity should make a point of observing whether 
any indications of conscience are perceptible in monkeys, elephants, 
or intelligent dogs. My own opportunities of observation have been 
restricted to the last of these animals alone, so I shall conclude this 
article by giving some instances which appear to me very satisfacto 
rily to prove that intelligent and sympathetic dogs possess the rudi 
ments of a moral sense. 

1 See, also, Hooker s "Himalayan Journal," vol. ii., p. 333 (1854). 
2 1 hope it is unnecessary to say that, in detailing this and all the subsequent inci 
dents, I carefully avoid exaggeration or embellishment of any kind. 


I have a setter just now which has been made a pet of since a 
puppy. As he has a very fine nose, and is at liberty to go wherever 
he pleases, he often finds bits of food which he very well knows he 
has no right to take. If the food he finds happens to be of a dainty 
description, his conscientious scruples are overcome by the tempta 
tions of appetite; but, if the food should be of a less palatable kind, he 
generally carries it to me in order to obtain my permission to eat it. 
Now, as no one ever beats or even scofds this dog for stealing, his 
only object in thus asking permission to eat what he finds must be 
that of quieting his conscience. It should be added that when he 
brings stolen property to me it does not always follow that he is al 
lowed to keep it. 

This same animal, when I am out shooting with him, sometimes 
of course flushes birds. When he does so he immediately comes to 
me in a straight line, carrying his head and tail very low, as if to ask 
for pardon. Although I speak reproachfully to him on such occasions, 
I scarcely ever chastise him; so it cannot be fear that prompts this 

One other curious fact may here be mentioned about this dog. 
Although naturally a very vivacious animal, and, when out for a walk 
with myself or any other young person, perpetually ranging about in 
search of game, yet if taken out for a walk by an elderly person he 
keeps close to heel all the time pacing along with a slow step and se 
date manner, as different as possible from that which is natural to him. 
This curious behavior is quite spontaneous on- his part, and appej 
to rise from his sense of the respect that is due to age. 

The writer of the article on " Animal Depravity" makes the 
lowino- quotation from an article of mine in Nature (vol. xii., page 
66) " The terrier used to be very fond of catching flies upoi 
window-panes, and if ridiculed when unsuccessful was evidently n 
annoyed. On one occasion, in order to see what he would do, I pui 
posely laughed immoderately every time he failed, It so happei 
that he did so several times in succession-partly, I believe, m co. 
quence of my laughing-and eventually he became so distress 
he positively pretended to catch the fly, going through all the ap 
pro Jriate aciions with his lips and tongue, and afterward rubbmg 
ground with his neck as if to kill the victim ; he then looked up a 
with a triumphant air of success. So wel **^*" 
simulated that I should have been quite deceived, had I not t 
the fly was still upon the window. Accordingly, I drew his at ent on 
to hi* fact, as well as to the absence of anything upon the floe, ami 
he saw that his hypocrisy had been detected ho 


and of their total want of conscience." I think this observation is 
warranted by the facts, for although I have heard it objected that the 
feeling displayed by the terrier in this case was that of wounded pride 
rather than of wounded conscience, still, from what has been previ-. 
ously said concerning this distinction in the case of animals, it will be 
seen that in this instance it is not easy to draw the line between these 
two sentiments. 

The following instances, however, all of which occurred with the 
terrier just mentioned, are free from this difficulty : 

For a long time this terrier was the only canine pet I had. One 
day, however, I brought home a large dog, and chained him up out 
side. The jealousy of the terrier toward the new-comer was extreme. 
Indeed, I never before knew that jealousy in an animal could arrive at 
such a pitch ; but, as it would occupy too much space to enter into 
details, it will be enough to say that I really think nothing that could 
have befallen this terrier would have pleased him so much as would 
any happy accident by which he might get well rid of his rival. Well, 
a few nights after the new dog had arrived, the terrier was, as usual, 
sleeping in my bedroom. About one o clock in the morning he began 
to bark and scream very loudly, and, upon my waking up and telling 
him to be quiet, he ran between the bed and the window in a most 
excited manner, jumping on and off the toilet-table after each jour 
ney, as much as to say : " Get up quickly ; you have no idea of what 
shocking things are going on outside ! " Accordingly, I got up, and 
was surprised to see the large dog careering down the road ; he had 
broken loose, and, being wild with fear at finding himself alone in a 
strange place, was running he knew not whither. Of course I went 
out as soon as possible, and after about half an hour s work succeeded 
in capturing the runaway. I then brought him into the house and 
chained him up in the hall ; after which I fed and caressed him with 
the view of restoring his peace of mind. During all this time the 
terrier had remained in my bedroom, and, although he heard the 
feeding and caressing process going on down-stairs, this was the only 
time I ever knew him fail to attack the large dog when it was taken 
into the house. Upon my reentering the bedroom, and before I said 
anything, the terrier met me with certain indescribable grinnings and 
prancings, which he always used to perform when conscious of hav 
ing been a particularly good dog. Now, I consider the whole of this 
episode a very remarkable instance in an animal of action prompted 
by a sense of duty. No other motive than the voice of conscience can 
here be assigned for what the terrier did ; even his strong jealousy oi 
the large dog gave way before the yet stronger dread he had of ihe 
remorse he knew he should have to suffer, if next day he saw me dis 
tressed at a loss which it had been in his power to prevent. What 
makes the case more striking is, that this was the only occasion dur 
ing the many years he slept in my bedroom that the terrier disturbed 



me in the night-time. Indeed, the scrupulous care with which he 
avoided making the least noise while I was asleep, or pretending to be 
asleep, was quite touching, even the sight of a cat outside, which at 
any other time rendered him frantic, only causing him to tremble 
violently with suppressed emotion when he had reason to suppose that 
I was not awake. If I overslept myself, however, he used to jump 
upon the bed and push my shoulder gently with his paw. 

The following instance is likewise very instructive : I must premise 
that the terrier in question far surpassed any animal or human being 
I ever knew in the keen sensitiveness of his feelings, and that he was 
never beaten in his life. 1 Well, one day he was shut up in a room by 
himself, while everybody, in the house where he was, went out. See 
ing his friends from the window as they departed, the terrier appears 
to have been overcome by a paroxysm of rage ; for when I returned 
I found that he had torn all the bottoms of the window-curtains to 
shreds. When I first opened the door he jumped about as dogs in 
general do under similar circumstances, having apparently forgotten, 
in his joy at seeing me, the damage he had done. But when, without 
speaking, I picked up one of the torn shreds of the curtains, the terrier 
gave a howl, and, rushing out of the room, ran up-stairs screaming 
as loudly as he w r as able. The only interpretation I can assign to this 
conduct is, that, his former fit of passion having subsided, the dog was 
sorry at having done what he knew would annoy me ; and, not being 
able to endure in my presence the remorse of his smitten conscience, 
he ran to the farthest corner of the house crying peccavi in the lan 
guage of his nature. 

I could give several other cases of conscientious action on the part 
of this terrier, but, as the present article is already too long, I shall 
confine myself to giving but one other case. This, however, is the 

1 A reproachful word or look from me, when it seemed to him that occasion required 
it, was enough to make this dog miserable for a whole day. I do not know what would 
have happened had I ventured to strike him ; but once when I was away from home a 
friend used to take him out every day for a walk in the park. He always enjoyed 
his walks very much, and was now wholly dependent upon this gentleman for obtaining 
them. (He was once stolen in London through the complicity of my servants, and never 
after that would he go out by himself, or with any one he knew to be a servant.) Never 
theless, one day while he was amusing himself with another dog in the park, my friend, 
in order to persuade him to follow, struck him with a glove. The terrier looked up at 
his face with an astonished and indignant gaze, deliberately turned round, and trotted 
home. Next day he went out with my friend as before, but after he had gone a short 
distance he looked up at his face significantly, and again trotted home with a dignified 
air. After this my friend could never induce the terrier to go out with him again, 
remarkable, also, that this animal s sensitiveness was not only of a selfish kind, but ex 
tended itself in sympathy for others. Whenever he saw a man striking a dog, whether 
in the house or outside, near at hand or at a distance, he used to rush to the protec 
of his fellow, snarling and snapping in a most threatening way. Again, when driving 
with me in a dog-cart, he always used to seize the sleeve of my coat every time I 
the horse with the whip. 


most unequivocal instance I have ever known of conscience being 
manifested by an animal. 

I had had this dog for several years, and had never even in his 
puppyhood known him to steal. On the contrary, he used to make 
an excellent guard to protect property from other animals, servants, 
etc., even though these were his best friends. 1 Nevertheless, on one 
occasion he was very hungry, and, in the room where I was reading 
and he was sitting, there was, within easy reach, a savory mutton- 
chop. I was greatly surprised to see him stealthily remove this chop 
and take it under a sofa. However, I pretended not to observe what 
had occurred, and waited to see what would happen next. For fully 
a quarter of an hour this terrier remained under the sofa without 
making a sound, but doubtless enduring an agony of contending feel 
ings. Eventually, however, conscience came off victorious, for, emerg 
ing from his place of concealment and carrying in his mouth the 
stolen chop, he came across the room and laid the tempting morsel at 
my feet. The moment he dropped the stolen property he bolted again 
under the sofa, and from this retreat no coaxing could charm him for 
several hours afterward. Moreover, when during that time he was 
spoken to or patted, he always turned away his head in a ludicrously 
conscience-stricken manner. Altogether I do not think it would be 
possible to imagine a more satisfactory exhibition of conscience by 
an animal than this ; for it must be remembered, as already stated, 
that the particular animal in question was never beaten in its life. 2 - 
Advance-sheets of the Quarterly Journal of Science. 

1 I have seen this dog escort a donkey Which had baskets on its back filled with ap 
ples. Although the dog did not know that he was being observed by anybody, he did 
his duty with the utmost faithfulness ; for, every time the donkey turned back its head to 
take an apple out of the baskets, the dog snapped at its nose ; and such was his watch 
fulness that, although his companion was keenly desirous of tasting some of the fruit, 
he never allowed him to get a single apple during the half-hour they were left together. 
I have also seen this terrier protecting meat from other terriers (his sons), which lived in 
the same house with him, and with which he was on the very best of terms. More curious 
still, I have seen him seize my wristbands while they were being worn by a friend to 
whom I temporarily lent them. 

2 This latter point is most important, because, although the moral sentiment in its 
incipient stages undoubtedly depends in a large measure upon fear of punishment, still, 
in its more developed state, this sentiment is as undoubtedly independent of such fear 
(Of. Bain, " Mental and Moral Science," pp. 456-459, 1875) ; and forasmuch as in our 
analysis of animal psychology we can be guided only by the study of outward actions, 
and forasmuch as the course of action prompted by direct fear of punishment will nearly 
always be identical with that prompted by true conscience, it is of the first importance 
to obtain cases such as the above, in which mere dread of punishment cannot even be 
suspected to have been the motive principle of action. 



E question of the origin of ferments is intimately connected with 
- that of spontaneous generation. In fact, from the time of Van 
Helmont and others, who, even in the seventeenth century, gave direc 
tions for the production of mice, frogs, eels, etc., the partisans of this 
mode of generation have, by the progress of the tendency to examine 
into the causes of things, been driven from the larger animals or plants 
visible to the naked eye, to the smallest living productions, which we 
can observe only by the aid of the microscope. But ferments are 
found among these inferior microscopic organisms; Redi, a member 
of the Academy of Cimento, showed that the worms in putrefied flesh, 
which were at first thought to be of spontaneous origin, are only the 
larvae from the eggs of flies, and that all that was necessary, to pre 
vent entirely the birth of these larva?, was to surround the decompos 
ing meat with fine gauze; he was the first to ascertain that parasitic 
animals are sexual and able to lay eggs. 

The invention of the microscope, and the numerous observations by 
which it was followed, toward the end of the seventeenth, and the 
commencement of the eighteenth century, gave fresh impulse to the 
doctrine of spontaneous generation, which had lost all credit in ques 
tions concerning the origin of living beings of a higher order. 

The question now was how to explain the origin of the various 
living productions, revealed by the microscope in infusions of vege 
table and animal substances, among which no apparent symptom of 
sexual generation could then be found. 

The subject was studied for the first time in a scientific manner by 
Needham, who published, in 1745, in London, a work on this subject. 
This observer did for infusoria what had already been done for the 
higher organisms. He protected, or rather endeavored to protect, 
vegetable or animal infusions from the action of germs, seeds, or any 
other agents of multiplication which could come from without. At 
the same time he destroyed by a physical agent, heat, the germs which 
might be supposed to exist beforehand in the liquid. Under these 
conditions, either living beings will be produced in the midst of the 
infusion, or none will be found there ; in the former case, it must be 
admitted that these organisms are developed in the medium which is 
suitable to them, without the intervention of any germ ; in the second, 
that the doctrine of spontaneous generation is false. In reality, the 
question can only be resolved in this manner, and all experimenters 

i Abridged from " Schutzenbergcr on Fermentations," No. XX. of the "International 
Scientific Series." 


who have entered upon it from Needham s time to the present day 
ought to have made use of it. 

The serious and grave difficulty, on which, during this period, all 
discussions raised between heterogenists and panspermists have turned, 
is so to arrange the experiments as to remove every suspicion of the 
intervention of germs brought from without, or preexisting, in the 

If the result is negative, if when all precautions that seem to be 
necessary have been taken, and all causes of error have been removed, 
there is no formation of infusoria, it will be difficult to raise any seri 
ous objection to the inevitable conclusion, provided that the methods 
employed for the purpose of eliminating the preexisting germs are not 
of such a nature as to modify the medium, and to render it unfit for 
the development and the nutrition of living organisms. If, on the 
contrary, we still meet with the birth of living beings, the suspicion 
will always revive that the experiment has been badly performed, and 
that a contrary result would have been obtained by conducting it more 
carefully. The heterogenists, therefore, find themselves in a more dis 
advantageous situation than their opponents, and, notwithstanding 
the success which they may obtain, they will never convince them. 

We think, therefore, that it is useless to give here a detailed 
account of their minute researches ; they must be consulted in the 
original memoirs. A single experiment which proves, by a negative 
result, that organic infusions, protected from germs from without, do 
not give birth to infusoria, is worth more, scientifically speaking, than 
ten experiments tending to establish the contrary opinion. 

If, therefore, we pass over the details of the fundamental experi 
ments of the heterogenists, and speak of those the results of which are 
conformable to the ideas of the panspermists, it will not be in a spirit 
of partiality. We are convinced that the latter are the only ones free 
from all objections, the relative skill of the operators being disregard 
ed, and considered as nothing in the estimate formed. We may, how 
ever, say that M. Pasteur s researches may serve as a model for all 
those who may wish to conduct investigations of this kind, whatever 
may be the preconceived opinion by which they are guided. By their 
precision, and the care taken to remove every source of error, they 
leave nothing to be desired. 

As the results obtained by M. Pasteur lead him to deny spontane 
ous generation, his opponents must above all prove that he is mis 
taken, by adopting the same rigorous experimental conditions. JSTeed- 
ham s experiments, which led him to admit and sustain the doctrine 
of spontaneous generation, consisted essentially in placing organic 
substances which were capable of decomposition, in vessels hermeti 
cally sealed, which were subsequently submitted to a high temperature, 
in order to destroy the preexisting germs. The work of the English 
writer attracted great notice on account of the support of Buffon, 


whose ideas lie upheld. Soon after began the great controversy be 
tween Needham and Spallanzani, who refuted, by experiment, the 
conclusions arrived at by Needham. 

The controversy turned principally on this point: Spallanzani was 
not satisfied with heating the hermetically-sealed vessels containing 
the infusions, for several minutes, merely the time which is required to 
cook a herfs-egg, and to destroy the germs, as Needham expresses it, 
but he kept them for the space of an hour in boiling water. He then 
observed no production of infusoria. But, objects the English ob 
server, from the manner in which he treated and put to the torture 
his nineteen vegetable infusions, it is evident that he not only much 
weakened, or perhaps totally destroyed, the vegetative force of the 
substances infused, but also entirely corrupted, by the exhalations 
and the odor of the fire, the small portion of air which remained in^ 
the empty part of his vessels. It is not, therefore, surprising that his 
infusions, thus treated, gave no signs of life. Such must necessarily 
have been the case. This idea, that the action of the temperature of 
boiling water destroys the vegetative force of infusions, is maintained 
even at the present day, and has served as an argument to the hete- 
rogenists ; as they were unable to attack the material correctness of 
Pasteur s experiments, they did not accept the conclusions which he 
sought to derive from them. 

We find also in the passage just cited, the necessity for the experi 
ments made by Schwann and Helmholtz on calcined air, and for those 
of Schroder and F. Dusch, on strained air. The objection of a possi 
ble change in the air contained in the vial, under the influence of pro 
longed boiling, in presence of organic substances, was a serious one at 
the time that it was brought forward; it becomes more so, when we 
know that the air confined over preserved meats, prepared by Ap- 
pert s process, contains no oxygen. It was, therefore, absolutely ne 
cessary to place the infusions in contact with air in a normal condi 
tion, after that boiling had deprived them of their preexisting germs, 
avoiding at the same time any new germs brought by the air. 

For this purpose, Dr. Schwann heated flasks containing the infu 
sions, until the destruction of the germs was insured; but his flask 
was not closed : it communicated freely with the surrounding air by 
mean of a glass tube bent in the form of a U, and heated, in one 
part of its length, by means of a bath of fusible alloy. Under these 
conditions, the air may be renewed in the flasks, but the fresh atmos 
pheric air admitted has undergone, like the infusion, the action of 
heat, which destroys the germs. Schwann s experiment was very 
decisive, as to broth made from meat ; and the negative result (no 
development of infusoria) was quite satisfactory. But it was not the 
same with analogous trials on alcoholic fermentation, which gave con 
tradictory results. Ure and Helmholtz repeated and multiplied these 
experiments with the same success. 


To obviate the objection* of a possible change by heat, in a mys 
terious and undefined principle, different from germs, but whose pres 
ence in the air was necessary to the production of infusoria, Schultze 
caused the renewed air to pass through energetic chemical reagents, 
such as concentrated sulphuric acid. He half filled a glass vessel 
with distilled water containing various animal and vegetable sub 
stances ; then stopped the vessel with a cork through which passed 
two bent tubes, and exposed the apparatus thus arranged to the tem 
perature of boiling water. Then, while the vapor was still escaping 
through the tubes, he adapted to each of them a Liebig s bulb appa 
ratus, one containing concentrated sulphuric acid, and the other con 
centrated caustic potash. The high temperature must necessarily 
have destroyed every living thing, all the germs that might happen 
to be in the inside of the vessel, or of its appendages, and the commu 
nication from without was intercepted by the sulphuric acid on one 
side and the potassa on the other. Nevertheless, it was easy to 
renew, by aspiration at the end of the apparatus which contained the 
potassa, the air thus inclosed, and the fresh quantities of this fluid 
which were introduced could not carry with them any living germ, 
for they were forced to pass through a bath of concentrated sulphuric 
acid. M. Schultze placed the apparatus thus arranged at a well- 
lighted window, side by side with an open vessel, which contained an 
infusion of the same organic substances ; then he was careful to renew 
the air in his apparatus several times a day for more than two months, 
and to examine with the microscope what took place in the infusion. 
The open vessel was soon found filled with vibrios and monads, to 
which were soon added polygastric infusoria of a larger size, and even 
rotifers ; but by the most attentive observation he could not discover 
the least trace of infusoria, conferva, or mildews, in the infusion con 
tained in the apparatus. 

The latest researches of Schroder and Yon Dusch (1854-1859) tend 
ed to raise another objection, the possible change in a special prin 
ciple in the air, by a reagent as energetic as sulphuric acid. Guided 
by the experiments of Loewel, who ascertained that common air, when 
it had been previously filtered through cotton, was unfit to cause the 
crystallization of supersaturated solutions of sodium sulphate, they 
placed one of the tubes of Schultze S apparatus in communication with 
a tube 1.18 inch in diameter, and from 19.68 to 23.62 inches in length, 
filled with cotton-wool. The other tube was connected with an aspi 

When the liquid, the interior of the flask, and the tubes, had been 
deprived of air by boiling, the apparatus was removed to its place, 
and the aspiration continued night and day. The two observers thus 
proved that meat, to which water hod been adde^l, the wort of beer, 
urine, starch, paste, and the various materials of milk taken separate 
ly, remained intact in the filtered air. On the contrary, milk, meat 


without water, and the yolk of egg, grew putrid as rapidly as in com 
mon air. 

The result of these experiments is, that there are spontaneous de 
compositions of organic substances which require nothing but the 
presence of oxygen gas to cause them to commence; while others 
need, besides oxygen, the presence in the atmospheric air of those 
unknown things, which are destroyed by heat or sulphuric acid, or 
are retained by the cotton. 

The two observers do not then decide on the nature of these things, 
and do not assert categorically that they are germs, and, in reality, 
nothing allows us to draw these conclusions. 

M. Pasteur s experiments have advanced the question another 
step, by proving that they are really germs of ferments and infusoria, 
which are destroyed by heat, or arrested by the sulphuric acid or cot 
ton in the experiments alluded to above. 

M. Pasteur made a hole in a window-shutter, several metres above 
the ground, and through this he passed a glass tube .196 inch in 
diameter, and containing a plug of soluble cotton .39 inch in length, 
kept in its place by a spiral platinum wire. One of the ends of this 
tube passed into the street ; the other communicated with a continuous 
aspirator. When the air had passed for a sufficient time, the plug of 
cotton, more or less soiled by the dust which it had intercepted, was 
placed in a small tube with the mixture of alcohol and ether, which 
dissolves gun-cotton. It was left for the space of a day. All the 
dust was deposited at the bottom of the tube, where it is easy to 
wash it by decantation, without any loss, if care is taken to separate 
each washing by an interval of repose of from twelve to twenty hours. 
The deposit, and the liquid which covers it, are put in a watch-glass 
together ; after the evaporation of the alcohol, the remainder is placed 
in water, and examined with the microscope. M. Pasteur also made 
use of ordinary sulphuric acid in order to moisten the dust. This 
agent had the effect of separating the grains of starch and calcium 
carbonate, which are always found in greater or less quantities in 
deposits collected on-the plug of cotton. 


Figs. 1 and 2 represent organic corpuscles, associated with amor 
phous particles, as seen through the microscope, under a power of 350 
diameters; the liquid containing them was common sulphuric acid. 


Fig. 1 applies to dust collected from the 25th to the 26th of June, 
1860; Fig. 2 to dust from the very intense fog of January, 1861. 

It was not enough to discover with the microscope organic parti 
cles mixed with amorphous substances, but it was necessary to prove 
that these particles really consisted of fertile germs, capable of pro 
ducing the infusoria which are developed in such abundance iA organic 
liquids exposed to the air. For this purpose, M. Pasteur arranged the 
experiment in the following manner : 

Into a flask capable of containing from 15 to 18 cubic inches, he 
introduced 6 to 9 cubic inches of albuminous saccharine water, pre 
pared in the following proportions : 

Water, 100 ; 

Sugar, 10; 

Albuminoid and mineral matter from beer-yeast, .2 to .7. 

The neck of the drawn-out neck-flask communicated with a plati 
num tube, as shown in Fig. 3. In this first stage of the experiment 
the T-shaped tube with three stopcocks is removed, and its place sup 
plied by a simple India-rubber connecting-piece. The platinum tube 
is raised to a red heat by means of a small gas-furnace. The liquid 
is boiled for two or three minutes, and is then allowed to grow com 
pletely cold. It is filled with common air, at the ordinary pressure 
of the atmosphere, but which has been wholly exposed to a red heat ; 
then the neck of the flask is hermetically sealed. 

This, being thus prepared and detached, is placed in a stove at a 
constant temperature of about 86 Fahr. ; it may be kept there for 
any length of time without the least change in the liquid which it con 
tains. It preserves its limpidity, its smell, and its weak acid reaction ; 
even a very slight absorption of oxygen is mainly to be observed. 
M. Pasteur affirms that he never had a single experiment, which was 
arranged as described above, which yielded a doubtful result; while 
water of yeast mixed with sugar, and boiled for two or three minutes, 
and then exposed to the air, was already in evident process of decom 
position in a day or two, and was found to be filled with bacteria and 
vibrios, or covered with mucors. These experiments are directly 
opposed to those of Messrs. Pousset, Mantegazzo, Joly, and Mussel. 

It is therefore clearly proved that sweetened yeast-water, a liquid 
very liable to be decomposed by the contact of common air, may be 
preserved for years unaltered when it has been exposed to the action 
of calcined air, after having been allowed to boil for a few minutes 
(two or three). 1 

This being determined, M. Pasteur adapted, by means of an India- 
rubber tube, the closed point of his flask filled with sweetened yeast- 

1 M. Pasteur has pointed out a cause of want of success, which has led many experi 
menters into error ; by showing that the mercury of a mercurial trough is a complete 
receptacle for living organisms, and consequently that all experiments made with such a 
trough must necessarily induce a development of infusoria. 


water, which had been kept for two or three months in a heated 
stove, without any development of organisms, to an apparatus ar 
ranged like that in Fig. 3. 

The pointed end of the flask passed into a strong glass tube .39 to 
46 inch in its inner diameter, within which he had placed a piece of 
tube of small diameter, open at both ends, free to slip into the larger 
tube, and inclosing a portion of one of the small plugs of cotton 
loaded with dust. The larger glass tube is bound to a brass tube in 
form of a T, furnished with stopcocks, one of which communicates 
VOL. ix. 7 


wrth the air-pump, another with the heated platinum tube, and the 
third with the flask, by means of the large tube which contains the 
smaller one with the cotton. These various parts are joined together 
by means of India-rubber. 

The experiment is commenced by exhausting the air, after having 
closed the stopcock connected with the red-hot metallic tube. This 
being afterward opened, allows calcined air to enter the tubes slowly ; 
this operation (exhaustion and readmission of calcined air) is repeated 
several times. The point of the flask is then broken off within the 
India-rubber, and the small tube containing the dust is allowed to slip 
into the flask, the neck of which is again sealed with the lamp. As 
an additional proof, and to obviate all objections, the same arrange 
ments were made with similar flasks, prepared like the preceding, but 
with this difference that, instead of cotton charged with atmospheric 
dust, there was substituted a small piece of tube containing calcined 
asbestos (as an additional precaution, it had been ascertained that 
calcined asbestos, loaded with atmospheric dust, by the same means 
as the cotton, gave identical results). 

The following are the observations obtained constantly by M. Pas 
teur : 

In all the flasks, into which dust collected from the air was intro- 

. . 

duced 1. Organic productions began to make their appearance in 

the liquid after twenty-four, thirty-six, or forty-eight hours at the 
most. This was precisely the time necessary for the same phenomena 
to appear in sweetened yeast-water exposed to contact with the at 

2. The products observed are of the same kind as those which are 
seen to make their appearance in the liquid when left freely exposed 
to the air, such as mucors, common mucidines, torulacei, bacteria, and 
vibrios of the smallest species, the largest of which, the Fionas lens, is 
only .000157 inch in diameter. 

When the water of yeast is replaced by urine, the experiment 
being conducted exactly in the same manner, we always notice the 
absence of any change as long as atmospheric dust has not been intro 
duced, while, with the addition of this, numerous organisms are 
developed, in every respect similar to those which appear and are 
developed in urine kept in the open air. If, on the contrary, the ex 
periment be repeated with common milk, we may be sure that it will 
in every case curdle, and become putrid. We shall observe the birth 
of numerous vibrios of the same species, and bacteria, and the oxygen 
of the flask will disappear. M. Pasteur thinks that this result, so dif 
ferent from those observed in other liquids, arises only from the fact 
that milk contains germs of vibrios which resist the boiling heat of 
water. To prove th^s, he boiled milk, not at 212 Fahr., or at the usual 
pressure of the atmosphere, but at 230 Fahr., under a greater pressure, 
and he found that the flasks thus prepared, and hermetically sealed, 


could be kept for an indefinite time in the stove, without giving rise 
to the smallest production of mould or infusoria. The milk preserves 
its taste, its smell, and all its properties ; and the atmosphere of the 
flask is only slightly modified in its composition. This difference be 

tween milk and urine, or sweetened yeast-water, must be attributed 
to the alkaline condition of the former medium, whereas the two oth 
ers are acid. In fact, if we previously neutralize the acid of the sweet 
ened yeast-water, by means of calcium carbonate, we obtain organisms 
under the same conditions of the experiment as those under which 
they were not before developed. 


These facts led M. Pasteur to make researches on the comparative 
action of temperature on the fecundity of the spores of the mucidines, 
and of the germs which exist suspended in the atmosphere. 

The following is, in few words, the method followed by him : He 
passed a small portion of asbestos over the small heads of the moulds 
which he washed to study ; he then placed this asbestos, covered w 7 ith 
spores, in a small glass tube, which he introduced into a U-tube 
(Fig. 4) of larger diameter, in which the smaller tube could move 
freely ; one of the extremities of the U-tube is joined by India-rubber 
to a metal tube in form of a T, with stopcocks. One of these cocks 
communicated with the air-pump, another with a red-hot platinum 
tube. The other extremity has an India-rubber tube which is con 
nected with the flask into which the spores are to be introduced ; this 
flask is hermetically sealed, and has been filled with calcined air, 
and suitable nutritious liquid previously raised to the boiling-point. 
Finally, the U-tube dips into a bath of oil, of common water, or salt 
water, according to the temperature which we wish to attain. Be 
tween the U-tube and that of platinum, there is a drying-tube with 
sulphuric pumice-stone. When all the apparatus which precedes the 
platinum tube has* been filled with calcined air, and the spores have 
been maintained at the desired temperature for a sufficient time, which 
may be varied at pleasure, the point of the flask is broken with a blow 
of a hammer, without unfastening the India-rubber connecting-pieces 
which attach the flask to the U-tube ; then inclining to a proper angle 
this latter tube, when removed from its bath, the asbestos with its 
spores is slipped into the flask. The flask is then hermetically sealed, 
and is carried to the stove at 68 to 86 Fahr. The experiment with 
the dust from the air is also made in the same manner with asbestos. 

Without any humidity, the fecundity of the spores of Penecillium 
glaucum is preserved up to 248 Fahr., and even a little above 257 
Fahr. It is the same with the spores of the other common mucidines. 
At 266 Fahr., the power of developing or multiplying is destroyed in 
all of them. The limits are the. same for the dust from the air. 

In all these careful experiments, the most scrupulous precautions 
were taken to prevent the access of the slightest portion of common 
air. But, say the partisans of heterogenesis, if the smallest portion 
of common air develops organisms in any infusion whatever, it must 
necessarily be the case that, if these organisms are not spontaneously 
generated, there must be germs of a multitude of various productions 
in this portion of common air, however small it may be ; and, if things 
were so, the ordinary air would be loaded with organic matter, which 
would form a thick mist in it. 

M. Pasteur has shown that there is a great deal of exaggeration in 
the opinion that even the smallest quantity of air is sufficient to de 
velop multitudes of organisms ; that, on the contrary, there is not in 
the atmosphere a continuous cause of these so-called spontaneous gen- 


erations; that it is always possible to procure, in any determined 
place, a limited quantity of common air, having undergone no kind 
of modification, whether physical or chemical, and nevertheless quite 
unsuited to set up any decomposing action in a liquid eminently pu- 
trescible. The method of experimenting is very simple. Into a flask 
of 15 to 18 cubic inches, 9 cubic inches of a liquid that has a tendency 
to decomposition are introduced ; the neck of the flask is drawn out 
with the lamp, leaving the point open; then the liquid is boiled till 
the vapor escaping from the extremity has expelled all the air; at this 
moment the point of the flask is closed by the lamp, by means of a 
blowpipe, and it is allowed to grow cool. The flask then contains no 
air; if we break off the point in any particular place, the air reenters 
suddenly, carrying into it the germs held in suspension ; it is again 
closed with the lamp, and kept in a stove at a temperature of 68 to 
86 Fahr. In the generality of cases, organisms are developed ; these 
organisms are even more varied than if the liquid were freely exposed 
to the air, which M. Pasteur explains by saying that, in this case, the 
germs in small number, in a limited volume of air, are not hindered in 
their development by germs in greater number or more precocious in 
their fecundity, which are able to occupy the space* and leave no room 
for them. But it is especially important to notice in the results ob 
tained by this method, what frequently happens many times in each 
series of trials, that the liquid continues absolutely intact, however 
long it may have remained in the stove, as if it had been filled with 
calcined air. This phenomenon is the more striking, and shows itself 
in more marked proportions, when the air received into the flasks is 
taken from a greater height. Thus, among twenty flasks opened in the 
country, eight contained organic productions ; out of twenty opened 
on the Jura, only five contained any ; and out of twenty flasks opened 
at Montanvert, in a rather high wind, blowing from the deepest gorges 
of the " Glacier des Bois," only one was affected by any change. 


We may also draw other conclusions from this series of observa 
tions. Since the putrescible liquid, which had been previously boiled, 
and which was contained in the flasks, was filled with organic produc- 


tions in a great number of instances, after the introduction of a limited 
quantity of air, the genetic power of the infusions had not been de 
stroyed by the material conditions of the experiments. Besides, this 
objection, which has been raised ever since the earliest controversies 
between the heterogenists and the panspermists, has been definitely 
answered by an experiment made by M. Pasteur ; he received in a 
flask, exhausted and deprived of living germs by the momentary ap 
plication of a sufficiently high temperature, some blood at the instant 
that it left the organism, and without allowing this liquid, which is so 
peculiarly putrescible, to come in contact with air. By permitting air 
deprived of germs, either by calcination or simple filtration, to enter 
the flask, and then hermetically sealing it, he found that the blood 
was preserved for an indefinite period intact, although it had not been 
exposed to heat. 

M. Pasteur has also shown that air may be deprived of germs by 
its passage through a capillary tube bent upon itself. It is, therefore, 
sufficient, in most cases, to draw out the neck of the flask so as to form 
a very long, narrow tube, which is bent in several directions, as, for 
example, in Fig. 5. When the air originally contained in it has 
been expelled, and \he preexisting germs killed by prolonged boiling, 
the flask is allowed to cool slowly. 

In closing our account of M. Pasteur s interesting memoir, in which 
heterogenesis was driven to its last intrenchments, we must add that 
this learned chemist endeavored to deprive his adversaries of one of 
their principal arguments. Experiments on spontaneous generation 
have always been conducted with vegetable or animal infusions ; it 
was supposed by Needham, Buffon, and Pouchet, that organisms were 
only thus produced at the moment of expiring Nature, when the ele 
ments of the beings on which they are developed are entering into 
new chemical combinations, and are passing fuUy through the phe 
nomena of fermentation or putrefaction. 

In other words, albuminoid matters preserve in some degree a cer 
tain reserve of vitality, which would allow them to become organic 
by contact with oxygen, when the conditions of temperature and hu 
midity are favorable. Starting with the idea that albuminoid sub 
stances are only aliments for the germs of infusoria, mucidines, or fer 
ments, M. Pasteur has proved directly that organic substances may 
be replaced by those which are purely mineral or artificial, or, at 
least, by substances on which this imaginary vegetative force cannot 
be supposed to have any influence. 



rTlHIS gentleman has won his scientific eminence in the field of 
-L physiology. Though but forty years of age, he has attained the 
highest rank in his chosen department as an experimental inquirer, 
teacher, and author having published the most elaborate treatise 
upon the subject of physiology in the English language. 

The name of Flint is now famous in the medical world through 
the celebrity of both father and son ; but there is probably a factor 
of inherited genius in this line which goes to their making up, for 
they have come from a long race of doctors. This is the genetic line 
of the generations of medical Flints, so far as Americans will be inter 
ested to know it. They are descended from Thomas Flint, who came 
from Matlock, Derbyshire, England, in 1638, and settled in Concord, 
Massachusetts. Edward Flint, physician of Shrewsbury, Mass., was 
father of the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch. The 
great-grandfather, Austin Flint, after whom the contemporary Flints 
are named, was a physician who died at Leicester, Massachusetts,. in 
1850, over ninety years of age. He served as a private soldier and 
afterward as a surgeon in the Revolutionary War. The grandfather 
of Austin, Jr., was Joseph Henshaw Flint, a distinguished surgeon of 
Northampton, Massachusetts, and afterward of Springfield, in the 
same State. His father is Austin Flint, now an eminent physician in 
New York City. He was born at Petersham, Massachusetts, in 1812, 
and graduated M. D. at Harvard, in 1833. He is a voluminous author 
and a distinguished practitioner. 

AUSTIN FLINT, Jr., was born at Northampton, Massachusetts, March 
28, 1836, and his parents removed to Buffalo, New York, in the same 
year. He was educated at private schools in that city, and, when 
fifteen, he spent a year in the Academy of Leicester, Massachusetts. 
He prepared for college at Buffalo, and entered Harvard University 
as Freshman in 1852. He left the university in 1853, and spent a year 
in the study of civil-engineering. He began the study of medicine 
in the spring of 1854 at Buffalo, and attended two courses of lectures 
at the medical department of the University of Louisville (1854- 55 
and 1855- 56). His taste for physiology was early developed, and he 
made some experiments on living animals for Prof. Yandell, of the 
Louisville school, while he was a student there. His final course of 
lectures was taken at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, in 1856- 
57, and at the close of the course he graduated. His inaugural thesis 
on the "Phenomena of the Capillary Circulation" was honored with 
the recommendation to be published, and appeared in the American 
Journal of Medical Sciences in July, 1857. It was based upon numer 
ous original experiments. He was editor for three years (1857- 60) 


of the Buffalo Medical Journal, which was founded by his father in 
1846, and ultimately transferred to New York ancl merged in the 
American Medical Monthly. 

In 1858 Dr. Flint was appointed one of the attending surgeons of 
the Buffalo City Hospital. The same year he became Professor of 
Physiology in the Medical School of Buffalo. In 1859 he removed 
with his father, and was appointed Professor of Physiology in the 
New York Medical College, delivering a course of lectures in 1859- 60. 
In 1860 he received the appointment of Professor of Physiology in 
the New Orleans School of Medicine, delivered a course of instruc 
tions in 1860- 61, and resigned the position at the breaking out of 
the war. While in New Orleans he experimented on alligators, 
and developed some important points with reference to the influ 
ence of the pneumogastric nerves upon the heart. He also made 
some experiments there upon the recurrent sensibility of the anterior 
roots of the spinal nerves. He was the first physiologist in this 
country to operate upon the spinal cord and the spinal nerves in liv 
ing animals. . 

In the spring of 1861 Dr. Flint went to Europe, and studied sev 
eral months with Charles Robin and Claude Bernard, with the former 
of whom he had close friendly and scientific relations, and maintained 
a frequent correspondence. Prof. Robin presented his memoir, "Sur 
une nouvelle fonction au foie " (" On a New Function of the Liver"), 
to the French Academy of Sciences for the Month yon prize without 
the knowledge of the author. In 1863 Dr. Flint made some important 
experiments upon the blood, employing a new mode of analysis for its 
nitrogenized constituents. He was one of the founders of the Bellevue 
Hospital Medical College, in 1861, and has been from the first, as he 
still is, Professor of Physiology and Secretary and Treasurer of the 
Faculty. He was also for eight years Professor and Lecturer on 
Physiology in the Long Island College Hospital of Brooklyn. 

In 1862 Dr. Flint made some remarkable observations on the ex 
cretory function of the liver, published in the American Journal of 
the Medical Sciences, in October, 1863 ; translated into French, and 
presented by Robin to the French Academy of Sciences for the " Con- 
cours Monthyon" and which received honorable mention and a recom 
pense to the author of 1,500 francs in 1869. The important discovery 
put forth in this memoir was the production of cholesterine in the 
physiological wear "of the brain and nervous tissue, the elimination 
of cholesterine by the liver, and its discharge in the form of stercorine 
in the fasces. It was established that the new substance (stercorine) 
results from the transformation of cholesterine in the fasces. The dis 
eased condition caused by the retention of cholesterine in the blood 
(cholesteraemia) is now recognized as a very important pathological 
fact. Dr. Flint s laborious researches and interesting conclusions upon 
this subject have been lately confirmed in Germany by experiments 


in which cholesteraamia has been produced in animals by injection of 
cholesterine into the blood. 

In 1867, at the request of the Commissioners of Public Charities 
and Correction of New York City, Dr. Flint reorganized the dietary 
system for the institutions under their charge, including Bellevue Hos 
pital, Charity Hospital, Poorhouse, Workhouse, Penitentiary, etc., etc., 
making diet-tables for more than 10,000 persons. In 1871 he made 
observations upon Weston, the pedestrian, analyzing his food and 
secretions for fifteen days before, during, and after one of his great 
walking-exploits. These inquiries help to decide some important 
physiological questions. 

In 1869 Dr. Flint published an elaborate review of the history of 
the discovery of the motor and sensory properties of the roots of the 
spinal nerves, in which the discovery was ascribed to Magendie in 
stead of to Sir Charles Bell, who has generally been regarded as its 
author. This review, originally published in the Journal of Psycho 
logical Medicine, New York, in 1868, was translated into French, and 
published in Robin s Journal de V anatomie. It produced such an im 
pression that it was soon followed by the publication, in the English 
Journal of Anatomy, of the original paper of Charles Bell, "Idea of 
a New Anatomy of the Brain," which was privately printed (not pub 
lished) in 1811. The original manuscript was furnished to the Jour 
nal of Anatomy by the widow of Sir Charles Bell. It was upon this 
paper that the claims of Charles Bell to the discovery were based ; 
and, before its publication in the Journal of Anatomy, it had been 
entirely inaccessible. 

Claude Bernard has been the eminent advocate of the theory that 
the liver is a sugar-producing organ ; but observations upon this sub 
ject were discordant, and eminent physiologists contested Bernard s 
position. In 1869 Dr. Flint published, in tlie NEW YORK MEDICAL 
JOURXAL, a series of experiments upon the " glycogenic function of the 
liver," in which he endeavored to harmonize the various conflicting 
observations, and is considered by most physiologists to have settled 
the question. 

In 1866 he announced the publication of the "Physiology of 
Man," a work in five volumes, of 500 pages each, and the last volume 
was issued in 1874. He printed a little work in 1870 on "Chemical 
Examinations of Urine in Disease," which went through several edi 
tions. He contributed the articles on gymnastics and pugilism to the 
" American Cyclopaedia," was appointed Surgeon-General of the State 
of New York by Governor Tilden in 1874, and has recently published 
a voluminous " Text-book of Human Physiology." He has also writ 
ten much for scientific periodicals and popular journals, and has been 
actively engaged in his duties as a physiological teacher. 





A 1 r E print the report of Gommis- 
VV sioner Beck with on the plan 
that has been adopted for the distribu 
tion of awards to exhibitors at the Phil 
adelphia Exposition. In this matter 
the Centennial Commissioners have 
taken a new and very important step 
in advance of previous practice. The 
report is significant, as indicating a 
departure from the precedents of all 
former international exhibitions in a 
fundamental and perhaps the most im 
portant feature of their management. 
The system of gold medals and special 
prizes heretofore adopted has been 
abandoned, and articles of exhibition 
are to go upon their merits, as deter 
mined by competent judges from this 
country and abroad, and who will be 
responsible to the public for the opin 
ions they give by signing their names 
to the published reports. This is a vic 
tory of honest good sense over former 
bad practices, which is most encour 
aging, and deserving of the heartiest 

International expositions are new 
things in the world s experience. That 
is, they are new, as enormous exten 
sions of local fairs and exhibitions 
which have been long in vogue. The 
primary idea was to bring all kinds of 
products together for public inspection 
and purchase. The show-element grad 
ually became predominant, and the fair 
grew into an exhibition. The collection 
of rival commodities naturally led to 
competition, and this to committees of 
judgment or juries, which gave premi 
ums for articles of the greatest ex 
cellence. Medals of gold, silver, and 
bronze, were assigned as testimonials 
of excellence in the articles approved. 
When the exhibitions grew into their 

great international proportions, this old 
method of awards was continued. But 
it was a very imperfect method, and 
its evils came out conspicuously in the 
great shows of London, Paris, and Vi 
enna. The plan of granting graded 
medals is necessarily crude and inade 
quate ; for, even if the awards are made 
upon the best judgment of the juries, 
they tell nothing, and are besides arbi 
trary and misleading. The differences 
among competing articles, in most 
cases, will not be as marked as the 
gradation of medals implies; so that 
their award will necessarily work in 
justice. There may be a score of prod 
ucts of the same kind, each, perhaps, 
with special merits, and none conspicu 
ously preeminent ; so that a gold med 
al awarded to one will greatly exagger 
ate its claims, and grossly wrong its 

But this is not all, nor the worst. 
Medals become valuable and are eagerly 
sought because of the very injustice 
they work. To crown a single article, 
casts virtual reproach upon all its com 
petitors ; and hence the gold medal 
which exalts one thing and disparages 
all in rivalry with it is striven for with 
desperate eagerness by exhibitors on 
account of the commercial advantages 
that follow. The door is thus opened 
to every form of illegitimate influence 
that can be brought to bear upon the 
judges. The prizes to be won, being 
of enormous value, are fought for with 
such a reckless disregard of the means 
employed that men of integrity often 
quit the juries in disgust rather than be 
implicated in their corrupt proceedings. 
How great the strain must be, in many 
cases, is apparent when we reflect that, 
if the old system were in operation at the 
Philadelphia Exposition, there would 
probably be many exhibitors who could 



afford to pay, each a million dollars, to 
secure the gold medal that would place 
their articles in advance of all com 
petitors. Nor is there anything in re 
cent American experiences that would 
justify us in expecting an incorruptible 
administration of the duties of jurymen. 
Even where the distribution of medals 
is supplemented and corrected by writ 
ten reports the results must be unsatis 
factory, for it is of small moment to the 
public that the award has been qualified 
or contradicted in a printed document. 
The verdict of the medal itself will 
be held as the important and decisive 
thing. Mr. Beckwith, who has not only 
had experience of the old practice, 
but has carefully studied its general 
workings, points out in his report the 
inadequacy of the European jury sys 
tem and the defectiveness of its results. 
Profiting by these failures, the Phila 
delphia plan has been organized to 
avoid them, and give us more valuable 
and trustworthy work. 

The first purpose of such a collec 
tion of the products of art, science, and 
industry, as will be displayed in Phila 
delphia, undoubtedly is, that its objects 
may be seen and inspected by the pub 
lic ; yet the mere gratification of curi 
osity by staring at new and strange 
things is certainly its lowest advantage. 
Such exhibitions are only put to their 
best and proper use as means of public 
education, in which observers become 
inquirers, and get a knowledge of the 
true qualities and characters of the 
things exhibited. The value of the dis 
play will be in proportion to its intelli 
gent appreciation, and the management 
of the affair must be judged by the effi 
ciency and completeness of the means 
adopted to instruct the public in re 
gard to it. To this end, the first step 
was to get rid of the misguiding and 
vicious system of medals, and then to 
secure capable men to furnish discrim 
inating and responsible reports. It is 
well for the national honor and for 
wholesome public influence that the 
most efficient measures have been taken 

to put things for once upon their naked 
and sterling merits. The selection of a 
hundred able experts from abroad, with 
a hundred more to be furnished by this 
country as judges, who are to be paid 
their personal expenses, and who are 
committed by their reputations to give 
honest and competent verdicts on the 
intrinsic and comparative merits of ob 
jects exhibited the reports to be pub 
lished for the use of visitors at the ear 
liest practicable moment is a measure 
on the part of the commissioners at 
once so sensible and so just that it 
raises some perplexity as to how it has 
been brought about. The old method 
of proceeding is so rooted in universal 
usage, and so congenial with the fierce 
competitive spirit of American business, 
that we cannot for a moment suppose 
it has failed to make its best fight 
against this innovation. That it should 
have been beaten, and a greatly supe 
rior method adopted by the commis 
sioners, is alike unexpected and a cause 
of devout gratitude. 

But the policy initiated at Philadel 
phia has a still further significant It 
is not merely a transient expedient in 
the tactics of a great show, but it de 
clares a principle of wide and perma 
nent application in society. Its adop 
tion strikes a blow at the all -prevailing 
habit of offering prizes as artificial 
stimulants to effort, instead of making 
the intrinsic excellence of work and its 
intelligent appreciation the true im 
pulse of exertion and enterprise. Com 
petitions are inflamed in all directions 
by sordid and selfish temptations, but 
it is in education that the system of ex 
trinsic rewards and factitious provoca 
tions is carried to the greatest extent, 
and leads to the most mischievous re 
sults. The practice of giving prizes in 
schools is vicious as substituting spu 
rious and unworthy motives to exertion, 
where the very object is to form the 
character by bringing generous and en 
nobling incitements into habitual and 
controlling exercise. To beat an an 
tagonist, and win a medal or a purse, 



is a vulgar and sordid inducement to 
study, and convicts the school that re 
sorts to it of inefficiency in its legiti 
mate and most essential work. It is, 
moreover, an injurious agency in edu 
cation, as it is constantly used to stim 
ulate students in false directions, and 
to the excessive cultivation of unim 
portant subjects. Our education is in 
a state of chaos in regard to the rela 
tive values of different kinds of knowl 
edge. The waste of time and effort 
over comparatively worthless studies is 
something quite appalling, and it is 
everywhere aggravated by plying schol 
ars with premiums for special attain 
ments. Rich blockheads, with narrow 
notions and tenacious crotchets, smit 
ten with the vanity of becoming public 
benefactors, go into the schools and 
found prizes and medals which set 
the students to racing in any direction 
which the whim or caprice of the donor 
may indicate. This evil is confessed, 
and has become so glaring that some 
institutions have wisely put a stop to 
such interference. But, as it is driven 
frorn^he schools, it is taken up by out 
siders, as we have seen in the intercol 
legiate contests that have lately come 
into vogue. Against this whole system 
the Philadelphia policy, as presented in 
Mr. Beckwith s report, is a tacit but 
powerful protest. To get things upon 
their real merits is a victory anywhere 
to do this upon a great, unprecedent 
ed national occasion is a triumph but 
there is no reason for adopting the prin 
ciple in an exhibition of the products of 
manufacture that will not apply with 
increasing force to the management of 
educational establishments. 


IT is not easy to deal with the an 
nual presidential addresses of Charles P. 
Daly before the Geographical Society. 
They are so fresh, readable, and full of 
novel and instructive matter, that there 
is a temptation to reprint them bodily. 
We have formerly spoiled them by sum 

marizing; this year we publish in full 
the introductory portion, in which he 
glances at the achievements of geo 
graphical explorers during the third 
quarter of the nineteenth century end 
ing in 1875, and shows what the state 
of things was at the beginning of that 
age, and what it is now. The main 
portion of the address, however, is de 
voted to an account of the researches, 
discoveries, and geographical work, of 
the past year. We are tempted to 
make some further use of Judge Daly s 
labors, which may incite our readers to 
procure the full address and read it 
themselves. Beginning with what has 
been done in our own country, Presi 
dent Daly suras up the results of the 
various exploring expeditions and sur 
veys undertaken or aided by the Gov 
ernment, in the great Western, North 
western, and Southwestern tracts of 
the continent. The results are varied 
and interesting. In the prehistoric sec 
tion, on the ancient inhabitants of 
America, the evidence has been much 
extended in regard to the life of the 
old race of mound-builders. In refer 
ence to the antiquity of man on this 
continent, it is remarked : 

" Prof. J. D. Whitney, from the remains 
found by him in California, is of the opinion 
that man existed there as long ago as the 
Tertiary period ; that he was then the maker 
of instruments for grinding corn, as well as 
other implements of stone, and, as far as the 
examination of the imperfect skull which 
was found warrants a conclusion, that ho 
was, at that remote period, the same ana 
tomically that he is now. These discoveries 
of Prof. Whitney s go to show that man ex 
isted during the Glacial epoch, which is con 
firmed after seven years examination of the 
deposits in the Victoria Cave, in England, 
and by recent discoveries in the inter-glacial 
coal-beds of Switzerland. The Glacial epoch 
is computed by Mr. Croll, in his recent work, 
to have ended, about 80,000 years ago ; and 
Mr. Croll is not only one of the best au 
thorities, but the one whose estimate of the 
time is the lowest." 

The work of arctic exploration con 
tinues to be vigorously pushed, and with 
promising results. A point of interest 



is, that the English and German geog 
raphers have abandoned the routes 
they formerly advocated, and have, 
with great unanimity, united in recom 
mending that the English expedition 
which left last June, under the com 
mand of Captain Nares, should go 
through Smith s Sound, following up 
the track of Kane, Hayes, and Hall 
the route that has been uniformly 
urged by the American Geographical 
Society as the best. At a crowded 
meeting of the Royal Geographical So 
ciety, at which the officers of the expe 
dition and most of the distinguished 
arctic explorers were present, the 
American theory of polar approach 
was heartily commended : 

" Admiral Omraanny, formerly a promi 
nent opponent of the route now adopted, 
also said that England must be grateful to 
her American cousins, who had cleared the 
way by successful operations through Smith 
Sound. When it is remembered that our 
early efforts in this direction were ignored, 
that the name of Grinnell Land, in Welling 
ton Channel, was at first omitted upon Eng 
lish maps, and the name of a subsequent 
English explorer substituted, that our route 
by the way of Smith Sound received little 
support except from Admiral Sherard Os- 
born, Admiral Ingletield, and Mr. Clements 
R. Markham, this change of opinion and 
hearty recognition now are very gratifying, 
especially to our member, Dr. Hayes, the 
only one of our exploring commanders in 
the Arctic who is now alive." 

To show that, in this boasted scien 
tific age, geographical notions are still 
entertained as crude as those held five 
hundred years ago, Judge Daly gives 
an account of some of the theories that 
are still seriously advocated. One of 
these is described as follows : 

"About the year 1819, Captain J. C. 
Symmes, an officer of the regular Army of 
the United States, advanced a theory, to the 
propagation of which he devoted the re 
mainder of his life, that the earth was hol 
low, was inhabited within, and had an 
opening at the pole, which became known 
throughout the country as Symmes s Hole. 
He pressed the subject upon Congress, urged 
an expedition to the pole to test his theory, 

and a Russian gentleman is said to have 
offered to fit one out if Symmes would con 
duct it under the auspices of Russia, which 
the captain declined, on the ground that the 
honor of establishing the theory should be 
long to the United States. He went over 
the country, delivering lectures in support 
of this theory, in which he firmly believed 
to the day of his death. Ilis son, now an 
old man, has revived it, and is advocating 
it, as his father did, by delivering public 
lectures. The father s theory was, that this 
hole or opening in the Arctic was about one 
thousand miles in diameter, and somewhat 
wider at the Antarctic ; and now that we 
have reached within five hundred miles of 
the arctic pole, about half of the assumed 
diameter of the supposed hole, without any 
indication so far of its existence, the son be^ 
lieves that if Captain Hall hud got several 
degrees farther north he would have found 
evidence of the truth of the theory. 

" Captain Hall startled us at the reception 
given to him and his officers by this Society, 
before the departure of the Polaris, by an 
nouncing publicly to us his belief in the ex 
istence of this hole, and of his determination 
to go in pursuit of it ; a belief which, being 
an uneducated man, and but little acquainted 
with the geography of the Arctic, was firmly 
fixed in his mind. It was in pursuit of this 
supposed hole that he meant to attempt the 
passage to the pole by the way of *oues s 
Sound. 1 pointed out to him the impractica 
bility of an attempt through Jones s Sound, 
and urged him to go as Kane and Hayes had 
done, by the way of Smith Sound, which 
course he ultimately adopted when advised 
to the same effect by Baron van Otten of the 
Swedish Expedition, whom he met during 
his voyage at Holsteinberg in Davis Strait. 

" In a letter put forth last February, by 
Mr. Symmes, he not only argues that the 
earth is hollow, but that it has as much in 
habitable surface within as without. He 
imagines that the inside is inhabited by 
human beings who are the progenitors of the 
white race, now upon the outer surface, and 
that there are apertures at the poles four or 
more hundred miles in diameter. This re 
calls the belief as to the cause of the earth s 
motion in the middle ages, when it became 
apparent from the researches of Copernicus 
and Galileo that it revolved upon its a^is, 
which accounted for the motion by suppos 
ing that the interior of the earth was hollow, 
and was the place to which the damned were 
condemned, who produced the motion by 
their continual attempts to climb up the in 
side of this hollow ball in their fruitless 



efforts to get out. A woodcut representing 
this strange belief will be found in an old 
cosmography in our library." 

Meteorological and earthquake dis 
turbances of the past year are noted ; 
and, with an account of the voyage of 
the Challenger and the important re 
sults attained by it, Judge Daly passes 
to the progress of geographical work in 
Europe, and gives an instructive ac 
count of the drainage of the Zuyder Zee 
now undertaken by the people of Hol 
land, who have become masters of hy 
draulics by necessity, as their whole 
country lies twelve feet below the level 
of the sea. They drained the Haarlem 
Lake, twelve miles long, seven miles 
wide, and fourteen feet deep, and cov 
ered it with thriving farms and villages, 
and were so pleased with tke specula 
tion that they have now undertaken to 
drain off the Zuyder Zee, which em 
braces an area of 759 square miles, and 
by which they propose to add six per 
cent, of fertile land to the total area of 
the country. It is a dull waste of half- 
navigable waters with low, marshy bor 
ders. J They are first to construct an 
immense dike 1G4 feet wide at the bot 
tom of the sea, and rising to a height of 
twenty-six feet above it, making a total 
length of wall, near the narrow opening 
of the sea, twenty-five statute miles. 
The inclosed area will be divided into 
squares, and pumped out at an expense 
of $48,000,000, or about $100 an acre. 
Our Yankees, who are being drowned 
by the score in the overflow of their 
ponds, might learn something about 
dams from these Dutchmen. 

The president next attacks Asia, 
and gives us a great deal of valuable in 
formation of the results of geographical 
inquiry in various portions of its im 
mense area, of which the following has 
a very human interest : 

u Mr, Bond, of the Indian Trigonometrical 
Survey, discovered two of the wild dwarfish 
race who live in the hill -jungles of the West 
ern Galitz, to the southwest of the Palini 
Hills, a race which, though often heard of, no 
trace of had previously been found by the sur 

vey. A man and a woman were discovered 
The man was four feet six inches high, and. 
26i inches about the chest. He had a round 
head with coarse, black, woolly hair and 
dark-brown skin, a forehead low and slightly 
retreating, the lower part of the face project 
ing like that of a monkey, with thick lips, 
protruding about an inch beyond his nose ; 
a comparatively long body fur his size, with 
short, bandy legs, and arms extending almost 
to his knees. The hands and fingers were so 
contracted that they could not be made to 
stretch out straight and fiat. The palms and 
fingers Were covered with a thick skin, par 
ticularly the tips of the fingers, the nails be 
ing small and imperfect, and the feet broad 
and thick-skinned all over. He had a gray 
ish-white, scanty, coarse mustache like bris 
tles, but no beard. The woman, who was 
about of the same size, was of yellow tint, 
with long, black, straight hair, and features 
well formed as contrasted with those of the 
man, there being no difference between her 
appearance and that of the common women 
of that part of the country. She had an 
agreeable expression, was well developed 
and modest. Their simple dress was a loose 
cloth, and, though they ate flesh, they lived 
chiefly on roots and honey. They have no 
fixed dwelling-places, but sleep between 
rocks, or in caves, near which they happen 
to be at night, when they light a fire and 
cook what they have collected during the 
day, maintaining the fire during the night for 
warmth, and to keep off wild animals. Their 
religion, such as they have, is the worship of 
certain local divinities of the forest. This is 
a new pygmy race, resembling the African 
Obongos of Du Chaillu, the Akkas of 
Schweinfurth, and the Dokos of Dr. Krapf, 
in their size, appearance and habits." 

Africa is, however, now the great 
point of assault by geographical explor 
ers, and there oome the most wonderful 
revelations regarding the fertility and 
beauty of various of its extensive re 
gions, with curious descriptions of its 
government and peoples. Dr. Nachti- 
gal, describing Wadai, in Northeast Af 

"Fixes the population of the country at 
about two and a half millions, and says that 
the surface elevation of the land is from 
west to east, with an elevation of from 1,000 
to 1,500 feet above the sea-level. Numerous 
small streams flow from the eastern heights, 
falling into the two principal rivers, the 
Kafa and Peaka. The country is divided 



into seven provinces; the religion is Mo 
hammedan, and the king, whose power is 
arbitrary, is looked upon as a sort of divini 
ty. The king s harem consists of about 500 
wives, and all his sons, except the heir to 
the throne, are blinded with hot irons, a 
duty performed by the king of the smiths, 
sdio is also the surgeon of the harem. The 
people are skillful workers in iron, but given 
to the drinking of an intoxicating beer, a 
practice which great eiforts are made to re 
press. Spies are extensively employed for 
that purpose, and any man upon whose 
premises the forbidden liquor is found is 
punished by having his wife s head shaved. 
The king has an army of 40,000 infantry and 
6,000 cavalry, and the country is heavily 
taxed for the support of the king and his 
expensive government." 

Judge Daly quietly compares our 
own u best Government on the face of 
the earth " with one of these African 
governments, and finds the compari 
son "not complimentary to our intelli 
gence." Here is the passage : 

" The Egyptian Geographical Society, 
under the presidency of Dr. G. Schweinfurth, 
the distinguished African explorer, was es 
tablished this year at Cairo, through the 
liberality of the Khedive, consisting of 300 
members, with an annual income of $T,000. 
A substantial portion of this income is 
granted by the Government in view of the 
advantages to the nation of the labors of 
the Geographical Society, as is the case with 
several of the leading Geographical Societies 
of Europe. But it would be hard to con 
vince our Government of the utility of aid 
ing, by pecuniary means, our Society, the 
only one in this country, when it would not 
even incur the expense of sending a com 
missioner to the late great Geographical 
Congress at Paris, and to our shame we were 
the only civilized nation that was unrepre 
sented in the exposition. It is not compli 
mentary to our intelligence and our cosmo 
politan relations to the world, of which we 
form so important a part, that we have a 
Government that takes no interest in the 
advance of civilization, and of the trade, 
commerce, and industry of the world at 
large, through geographical exploration and 
discovery, the means by which it has been 
chiefly advanced, from the dawn of civiliza 
tion to the present time. It was not the 
fault of this Society that our country was 
not represented in the exposition, for ear 
nest efforts were made by us n well ae by the 

French minister, but were met by the reply 
that the Congress in Paris was the affair of 
a private society, which was not the view 
taken by the other civilized nations, who 
made liberal grants of money for the success 
of an undertaking in which the whole world 
was interested. With our limited means, 
all that we could do was to send a delega 
tion, as nothing could be received for ex 
hibition except under the charge of a com 
missioner of the government of the country 
from which it was sent. If the gentlemen 
charged with the administration of our Gov 
ernment read the frequent expressions of 
surprise that I have read in the various ac 
counts written of the exposition, at the ab 
sence of any representation from the United 
States, they would not, I think, be very 
much impressed with the wisdom and policy 
of the exceptional position in which they 
placed our country and people. This was 
not a case in which we could afford to be in 
different, as we do not constitute the whole 


WE had occasion some time ago to 
refer to the unscrupulous critical spirit 
which animates a London weekly called 
the Academy, a periodical established 
and conducted on the principle of bully 
ing itself into notice by copying and 
exaggerating the most arbitrary feat 
ures of British journalism. A special 
effort has been made to push the cir 
culation of the Academy in this country, 
which makes it proper to point out the 
policy it has adopted toward American 
as well as English authors. A little 
American book on botany was repub- 
lished in London, and attacked by the 
Academy in the most vicious way. The 
criticism was a string of the grossest 
misrepresentations, by which the whole 
character of the book was falsified and 
libeled. Its author happened to be in 
London at the time, and wrote a letter 
to the editor of the Academy, exposing 
the character of its criticism. The 
editor refused to print it, and the author 
was compelled to seek another channel 
to get the true state of the case before 
the public. The letter declined by the 
Academy was printed by the Examiner. 

1 12 


A similar thing has just been done 
again. Max Miiller was allowed to 
use the Academy columns to abuse and 
misrepresent Prof. Whitney, of Yale 
College, in matters of philology. The 
American linguist replied to these 
assaults in a letter to the Academy, 
which again its editor refused to print, 
and it found publicity, as before, 
through the hospitable pages of the 
Examiner. And this difference of fair 
ness between the two journals goes 
along with other differences which will 
be of interest to American readers; 
for, while the Academy is character 
ized by the amount of its pedantic rub 
bish and scholarly trumpery, suited to 
the learned drones of Oxford and Cam 
bridge, the Examiner addresses itself 
more to the living questions of the 
day, and discusses subjects of universal 
interest, with an ability and indepen 
dence that may commend it to Ameri 
can readers desiring an English weekly. 


JOHN FISKE, M. A. LL. B. Pp. 349. 
Price $2. J. R. Osgood & Co. 

To say that this volume is by the author 
of the "Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy" 
will be at once to commend it to a large 
circle of readers ; but as a series of inter 
esting papers on a wide variety of topics, 
scientific, philosophic, artistic, historical, 
and critical, it will be commended to many 
who have not been attracted to the earlier and 
more solid publication. Most of the articles 
of the volume will be remembered as they 
appeared in the periodicals ; admirable in 
style, bold in thought, and rich in scholarly 
erudition. Mr. Fiske has views of his own 
which he works out with freedom, and often 
with great beauty and force of statement. 

The volume takes its name from the first 
two essays, which lately appeared in the 
Atlantic Monthly, and were read with inter 
est by many thoughtful people. They start 
from the speculations of a recent book en 
titled "The Unseen Universe," which broke 
into a somewhat new field of ingenious sci 

entific conjecture, and was read with an 
eager but rather perplexed curiosity by 
those who are fond of transcendental in 
quiries. This work has been already no 
ticed in the MONTHLY, and is chiefly impor 
tant as an effort by thoroughly disciplined 
scientific men to arrive at the conception 
of immortality and a realm of future spirit 
ual life from the scientific point of view. 
Mr. Fiske is in sympathy with this aspira 
tion, but deals with the problem by his own 
methods, and perhaps in an abler way than 
the authors who opened the discussion. 
We cannot here reproduce his views, which 
are only to be understood by a careful pe 
rusal of the essays in which they are pre 

But, while cordially recommending this 
volume as a whole, we must except the re 
view of Draper s " History of the Conflict 
between Religion and Science," which we 
think somewhat unworthy the author. Mr. 
Fiske adopts a deprecatory tone in speak 
ing of Draper s books, which is construed 
by the newspapers into contempt which 
jumps with public prejudice, and is quite to 
be expected from certain quarters ; but for 
which he gives us no satisfactory reasons. 

He charges Dr. Draper with superficiality 
and mental idiosyncrasy, in not understand 
ing Rome ; in not appreciating Greece ; ia 
hostility to the Catholic Church ; in over 
rating semi-barbarous civilizations, "and 
above all an undiscriminating admiration 
for everything, great or small, that has ever 
worn the garb of Islam, or been associated 
with the career of the Saracens." But, after 
indulging in a little sarcasm at Dr. Draper s 
admiration of the "turbaned sage," Mr. 
Fiske finds himself compelled to say : 

" Speaking briefly with regard to this matter, 
we may freely admit that the work done by the 
Arabs, in scientific inquiry as well as in the mak 
ing of events, was very considerable. It was 
a work, too, the value of which is not common 
ly appreciated in the accounts of European his 
tory written for the general reader, and we have 
no disposition to find fault with Dr. Draper for 
describing it with enth usiasm. The philoso 
phers of Bagdad and Cordova did excellent ser 
vice in keeping alive the traditions of Greek phys 
ical inquiry at a time when Christian thinkers 
were too exclusively occupied with transcenden 
tal speculations in theology and logic. In some de 
partments, as in chemistry and astronomy, they 
made original discoveries of considerable value ; 
and If we turn from abstract knowledge to the 


arts of life, it cannot be denied that the mediae 
val Mussulmans had reached a higher plane of 
material comfort than their Christian contem 
poraries. In short, the work of all kinds done by 
these people would furnish the judicious advo 
cate of the claims of the Semitic race with ma 
terials for a pleasing and instructive picture." 

Very well ; these are facts of some im 
portance, but who had brought them out 
for public appreciation before Dr. Draper 
published his " History of the Intellectual 
Development of Europe ? " And, although 
Mr. Fiske may differ from him in regard to 
the historical import of Arabian science, we 
fail to see any occasion for the indulgence 
of sneering and disparagement. 

And now in regard to the " Conflict." 
The theologians of all ilks, who have taken 
up Dr. Draper s recent book, are agreed that 
it is a piece of futility because there is real 
ly no such conflict as that of which he pre 
tends to have given the history. Messrs. 
Brownson, Hill, Washburn, Deems, and Co., 
are vehement in asserting the groundless 
ness and absurdity of Dr. Draper s assump 
tion ; and now, as if he had been sitting 
under the droppings of the Hippodrome, 
Mr. Fiske cordially acquiesces in the ardent 
views of these gentlemen. He says of Dr. 
Draper : " When he enlarges on the trite 
story of Galileo and alludes to the more 
modern quarrel between the Church and 
geologists, and does this in the belief that 
he is thereby illustrating an antagonism be 
tween Religion and Science, it is obvious 
that he identifies the cause of the anti- 
geologists and the persecutors of Galileo 
with the cause of Religion. The word re 
ligion is to him a symbol which stands for 
unenlightened bigotry or narrow-minded un 
willingness to look facts in the face. . . . 
It is, nevertheless, a very superficial con 
ception, and no book which is vitiated by 
it can have much philosophic value. . . . 
Since, then, the scientific innovator does 
not, either voluntarily or involuntarily, at 
tack religion, it follows that there can be no 
such conflict as that of which Dr. Draper 
has undertaken to write the history. The 
real contest is between one phase of science 
and another." This will hardly do. Mr. 
Fiske says that no book vitiated by this 
superficial conception can have much philo 
sophic value. But, in the " First Principles " 
of Herbert Spencer, on page 11, we read : 
VOL. ix. 8 

"Of all antagonisms of belief, the oldest, 
the widest, the most profound, and the most 
important, is that between religion and science. 
It commenced when the recognition of the sim 
plest uniformities in surrounding things set a 
limit to the previous universal fetichism. It 
shows itself everywhere throughout the domain 
of human knowledge, affecting men s interpre 
tations alike of the simplest mechanical acci 
dents and of the most complicated events in the 
histories of nations. It has its roots deep down 
in the diverse habits of thought of different 
orders of minds. And the conflicting concep 
tions of Nature and life which these diverse 
habits of thought severally generate, influence 
for good or ill the tone of feeling and the daily 
conduct. An unceasing battle of opinion like 
this, which has been carried on throughout all 
ages, under the banners of religion and science/ 

Mr. Spencer, of course, holds to the 
possibility of an ultimate reconciliation be 
tween Religion and Science, but he does not 
commit the folly of denying their past and 
present antagonism. Dr. Draper has made 
no attempt to deal with the philosophy of 
the subject, and he is not to be judged by 
that standard. Assuming, as Spencer has 
done, that it is a fact, and a fact of vast 
significance, he is the first to have given us 
its history ; and, whatever opinion may be 
entertained regarding the manner of its ex 
ecution, he had a valid theme, and deals 
with veritable phenomena. And, had his 
manner of doing the work been more open 
to attack, we should probably have heard a 
good deal less about the baselessness of the 
antagonism which he has described. 

The point of contention is as to what 
constitutes religion. Dr. Draper was justi 
fied in taking the term in its current sig 
nificance as comprehending the general doc 
trines and policy of religious organizations. 
That sects differ, and eat each other up in 
their denials of dogmas, was nothing to 
him. And, though they should all agree 
at last as to what religion is, and discredit 
the total affirmations of past theology, the 
historical aspects of the case will remain the 
same. He was not called upon to settle 
sectarian disputes, or to find out that de 
nomination which possesses the true faith. 
Mr. Fiske complains of him for not defining 
this element of his thesis, and he proceeds 
to do it himself, as follows : " All animals 
seek for fullness of life ; but in civilized 
man this craving has acquired a moral sig 
nificance, and has become a spiritual aspira- 


tion ; and this emotional tendency, more or 
less strong in the human race, we call reli 
gious feeling or religion." Admirable ! but 
how far accepted? We hope that the 
agreement of Messrs. Brownson, Hill, Wash- 
burn, Deems, Fiske, and Co., in denouncing 
the groundlessness of the " conflict," will 
not be construed as implying any agree 
ment among the parties as to what religion 
is. If these gentlemen will get together and 
settle the point, an important step will be 
will gladly pay the expenses of a convention 
of reasonable length for such a purpose, but 
we stipulate not to foot the bills until they 
reach an agreement. 

DAY. For the Use of Schools and Young 
Persons. With Illustrations. Pp. 467. 
D. Appleton & Co. Price, $2. 

WE called attention recently to the in 
fluence of the Centennial in stimulating the 
study of political history, and expressed 
the hope that the gathering together of the 
products of art, science, and industry, of 
all nations, at the Great Exhibition in 
Philadelphia, would have the effect of pro 
moting the historical study of this class 
of subjects in American schools. It was 
pointed out that this line of literature has 
been greatly neglected, and is so backward 
that students desiring to attend to it would 
be much perplexed to find suitable text 
books for the purpose. An important and 
very successful step has, however, been tak 
en to supply this deficiency. The work 
now published under the above title, con 
sidering that it is the first attempt to treat 
the history of science in a brief and popular 
way for educational purposes, is of very su 
perior merit. We took it up with doubt, 
we read it with a growing interest, and cor 
dially recommend it both for general read 
ing and as a school-book. The authoress 
has made no scientific discoveries ; and we 
question if there are many who have done 
so who could make so judicious a compend 
of general scientific history as she has done. 
But, if she has not made a name as an ex 
plorer, she has been a careful student of 
science, and, having been for many years 
secretary to the late Sir Charles Lyell, and 

brought into contact with many of the 
leading scientific men of the day, she had 
peculiar opportunities of qualifying her 
self for the task of writing a popular scien 
tific history. Her style is clear and di 
rect, and her power of explanation we think 
something quite unusual, while the propor 
tions in which the subjects are treated evince 
good artistic judgment in the work of book- 
making. Illustrations are introduced with 
discretion, to help the text, and brief bio 
graphical notices are interspersed which 
give interest to the course of the* narra 
tive, and the exposition of scientific work. 
The book is, moreover, essentially ac 
curate and trustworthy ; and executed with 
far more faithfulness than is usual in com 
pilations. Miss Buckley s volume ought to 
be unhesitatingly and extensively adopted 
in our schools, and kept there until super 
seded by a better, which we suspect will 
not be very soon. We do not recommend 
it to be memorized, or made a matter of 
formal recitation, so much as for a reading- 
book to be gone over by suitable classes, 
with such questions and suggestions as an 
intelligent teacher can impart. So used, 
its influence in schools cannot be otherwise 
than valuable. 


RICHARDSON, M. D., F. R. S. Pp. 520. 

New York : D. Appleton & Co. Price, 


WE have already given some excerpts 
from advance-sheets of this book, which is 
just issued. Dr. Richardson was led to the 
treatment of the subject by having first 
given special attention to the diseases of 
overworked men. He printed some essays 
on this topic, and followed them by others 
on diseases induced by various occupations 
and by indulgence in the use of alcohol 
and tobacco. These articles, having under 
gone revision and considerable extension, 
make up the present volume. The author 
carefully abstains from infringing upon 
the proper art of curing disease which be 
longs to the medical practitioner, and con 
fines himself mainly to the symptoms and 
causes of modern maladies, and to hints 
toward their prevention. While the book 
will not be without value to physicians, it 
is carefully adapted to the wants and capa 
city of general readers. We have simply 


to say that this volume is, in a high degree 
both interesting and useful. It presents in 
a pleasant form, and with pointed applica 
tions, the sort of information that shoulc 
be most widely distributed, and abounds in 
facts and suggestions of importance that 
cannot be readily obtained elsewhere. 

HOUSE. A Practical Guide to the Home 
Arrangement of Plants and Flowers. 
By ANNIE HASSARD. American edition, 
revised. With many Illustrations. Pp 
166. New York : Macmillan & Co. 
Price, $1.50. 

THIS little book, written by a person 
who evidently understands fully the art of 
floral decoration, will be found helpfully 
suggestive to all those who wish to make 
flowers accessory to the attractiveness of 
their homes. 

The author aims, by both illustration 
and statement, to render the principles un 
derlying her art so plain that any woman 
may tastefully and successfully decorate her 
table, adorn her drawing-room, and in some 
sense, by the use of plants around her win 
dows and balconies, bring to the interior of 
home not only the beauty but the simple 
delights of the external garden. The whole 
subject of table-decoration, including forms 
of stands and vases, the arrangement of 
fruit and flowers, the adjustment of these 
to the light, materials and means for keep 
ing flowers fresh, as well as window-gar 
dening, hanging baskets, grouping of plants, 
wreaths, crosses, and even button-hole bou 
quets, find very instructive treatment in this 
little volume. It is shown how the simplest 
available materials ferns, grasses, autumn 
leaves no less than the richest products of 
the florist s art, may serve, in the hands of 
the skillful manipulator, to produce most 
graceful effects. 

The chromatic principles of grouping 
are indicated in the following extract : 

" In producing harmonious contrasts of col 
ors, it should be remembered that there are only 
three primary colors red, blue, and yellow. 
From these arise what are called the binary or 
secondary colors, namely, orange, composed of 
yellow and red ; purple, composed of blue and 
red; and green, composed of yellow and blue. 
These form contrasting colors to the primary 
three with which they are in harmonious oppo 
sition, as the orange with blue, purple with yel 
low, and green with red. From the combina 

tion with these secondary colors arise three 
tertiary colors olive, from purple and green ; 
citron, from green and orange; and russet 
from orange and purple. These tertiary colors 
harmonize with the primaries, as they stand in 
the relation of neutral tints to them, but are in 
harmonious opposition to the secondaries from 
which they are combined. Red, blue, and yel 
low, harmonize with each other, and they may 
be placed in juxtaposition, but purple should 
not be near red or blue, as it is composed of 
these two colors, the rule being that no primary 
color should be brought into contact with a 
secondary of which itself is a component part ; 
nor any secondary color brought into contact 
with a tertiary color of which it is a component 

With Portraits. Pp. 355. New York : 
D. Appleton & Co. Price, $1.75. 

THIS is one of the most fresh and charm 
ing volumes that has come from the press 
in many a day. It is of such unique and 
special attraction that we have drawn upon 
it for the materials of two articles in the 
MONTHLY, which cannot fail to incite the 
reader to desire the perusal of the whole 
book. And it will amply repay the most 
careful reading. Aside from the interest 
at every step in the life of the remarkable 
woman who tells her own story in such a 
vivid and racy way, this biography will 
have permanent value as connected with 
the rise of modern sidereal astronomy, and 
as throwing light upon the characteristics 
of an illustrious scientific family. Tele 
scopes, new planets, comets, double stars, 
and nebulae, are always attractive things to 
read about, but what engages us most in- 
ently with these pages is that they overflow 
with human nature from beginning to end. 

LIAM I. GILL, A. M. Pp. 483" New 
York : The Authors Publishing Com 
pany. Price, $2. 

THE author of this book made his mark 
as an acute and independent thinker by 
the publication, a year or two since, of a 
volume called " Evolution and Progress." 
The present volume is the first of a series, 
each complete in itself, in which a fresh at 
tempt will be made to construct a philoso 
phy. No intimation is given as to what 
will be its character, the present book be 
ing occupied entirely with the foundation, 


and with only one element of that the pri- i 
mary principle of all reasoning. This prin 
ciple the author finds in the law of ndn- 
contradiction, which simply says to system- 
makers, " Be consistent, or do not contradict 
yourselves." Obvious as this principle is, 
we are told that in all ages it has been ac 
cepted or rejected alternately according to 
the exigencies of philosophical speculation, 
having been nullified by theologians and 
philosophers from Augustine to Kant. It 
therefore needs reelucidation, to which Mr. 
Gill has devoted his volume. The book 
gives abundant scope for the exercise of 
philosophical genius, in which its author is 
not wanting. Our most eminent metaphysi 
cians, as Drs. McCosh and Anderson, recog 
nize his strong claims as a thinker, and we 
have no doubt his volume will attract the 
attention of serious students, and prove a 
valuable addition to American philosophi 
cal literature. 


Compiled by First - Lieutenant E. H. 

KUFFNER, of the Engineers. 

THIS valuable map, the preparation of 
which has occupied Lieutenant Ruffner and 
Mr. Ado Hunnius, draughtsman and en 
graver, for some three years, is based on 
Government and railroad surveys, previous 
ly-published maps, military surveys and 
reconnoissances, etc. The scale is made 
large enough for marching-purposes, and 
the topographical details are such as are 
needed in directing military movements. 
The task of compiling such a map as this 
of the Indian Territory is one that involves 
an enormous amount of labor, and it ap 
pears to have been performed with consci 
entious fidelity by Lieutenant Ruffner. The 
draughtsman s work is also deserving of 
great^ credit. The map is on the scale of 
1 : 500,000. 

WE have received the initial number of 
The Home Scientist, published at Wads 
worth, Ohio. The Home Scientist is a month 
ly, eight-page journal, in quarto, devoted tc 
the diffusion of popular scientific knowledge 
This first number, both in its original an( 
hi its selected matter, shows evidence of 
competent editorship. We wish it success 
J. A. Clark, publisher. Terms, $1 per an 

eceived from the publishers the first num- 
er of a monthly periodical bearing the 
ibove title. In form it is a large quarto of 
welve pages, tastefully printed on fine pa 
yer. The Review is designed to chronicle 
and illustrate the progress of science as ap- 
ilied to the useful arts, such as engineering 
n all its branches civil, mechanical, naval, 
military, and sanitary ; gas and water sup- 
>ly, and sewerage ; chemical technology, 
with particular reference to mining, metal- 
urgy, and manufacturing chemical indus- 
;ries ; manufactures in general, and the me 
chanic arts. That the Polytechnic Review 
will be conducted with energy and ability, 
the names of the editors, William H. Wall, 
Ph. D., and Robert Grimshaw, Ph. D., are a 
sufficient guarantee. Philadelphia: Pub 
lished by the editors, 119 South Fourth 
Street. $3 per annum. 


Geological Survey of Alabama. Report 
of Progress for 1875. By Eugene A. Smith, 
Ph.D. Montgomery, Alabama, 1876. Pp. 

Memoirs of the Peabody Academy of 
Science, vol. i., No. iv. Fresh-Water Shell 
Mounds of the St. John s River, Florida. 
By Jeffries Wyman, Salem, Massachusetts. 
Pp. 87. 

Statistics of Births, Marriages, and 
Deaths, in the City of Philadelphia for the 
Year 1874. Compiled by William H. Ford, 
M. D. Philadelphia, 1875. Pp. 133. 

Experiments with the Alleged New 
Force. By George M. Beard, A. M., M. D., 
New York, 1876. Pp. 28. 

Report of the Health-Officer of the City 
of Oakland, California, 1875. By George E. 
Sherman, M. D. Oakland, 1876. Pp. 32. 

Reports of the Trustees and Superin 
tendent of the Butler Hospital for the In 
sane, Providence, 1876. Pp. 37. 

Immobility or Closure of the Jaw, with 
Report of Cases. By W. F. Westmoreland, 
M. D. Atlanta, Georgia, 1875. Pp. 10. 

The Public-School Question as under- 
derstood by a Catholic-American Citizen 


and by a Liberal American Citizen. By 
Bishop McQuaid and Francis E. Abbott. 
Boston, 1876. Pp. 100. 

Historical Sketch of the Columbus 
Public Schools. Columbus, Ohio. Pp. 31. 

An Exposition and Defense of Homoe 
opathy. By George Pyborn, M. D. George 
town, Colorado, 1876. Pp. 36. 

Legal Chemistry, A Guide to the Detec 
tion of Poisons, Examination of Stains, 
etc., as applied to Chemical Jurisprudence. 
By A. Naguet. Translated by J. P. Batter- 
shall, Nat. Sc. D., with a Preface by C. F. 
Chandler, Ph. D., M. D., LL. D. New York : 
D. Van Nostrand, 1876. Pp. 178. Price, 

Life Histories of the Birds of Eastern 
Pennsylvania. By Thomas G. Gentry. In 
Two Volumes. Vol. i. Philadelphia, 1876. 
Pp. 399. 

Prehistoric Man. By Daniel Wilson, 
LL. D., F. R. S. E. In Two Volumes. Lon 
don: Macmillan & Co., 1826. Pp. 391 and 
401. Price, $12. 

Report of the Chief Signal-Officer to 
the Secretary of War for the Year 1875. 
By Albert J. Meyer. Pp. 475. With nu 
merous Maps. 

Exercises in Electrical and Magnetic 
Measurement. By R. E. Day, M. A. Lon 
don : Longmans, Green & Co., 1876. Pp. 

Daily Bulletin of Weather Reports, Sig 
nal Service of the United States Army for 
April, 1875. Pp. 185. 

Man a Spirit only. By R. L. Farns- 
worth. Pp. 48. St. Paul: Pioneer Press 

Claims of Capital. By William Brown. 
Pp. 36. Montreal : J. Lovell. 

Uses of a Topographical Survey of New 
York State. By J. T. Gardner. Pp. 14. 
New York: American Geographical Soci 

Product of the Action of Potassium on 
Ethyl Succinate. By I. Remsen. Pp. 10. 
From American Journal of Science. 

Hospital and Private Treatment of Oph 
thalmia Neonatorum. By S. C. Ayres, M. D. 
Pp. 8. From Lancet and Observer. 

Climate in its Sanitary Relations to 
Medicine. By A. S. Baldwin, M. D. Pp. 
14. Jacksonville, Fla. : Semi-Tropical print. 

Report on Working- Women s Protec 
tive Union (1876). Pp. 16. New York: 
W. W. P. Union. 

Astronomische Nachrichten. No. 2,062. 
Kiel : Konigliche Sternwarte. 

Training-School for Nurses. Pp. 16. 
Philadelphia : Grant, Faires & Rodgers 

Principal Characters of the Dinocerata. 
By 0. C. Marsh. Pp. 6. With Plates. 
From American Journal of Science. 

Some Remains of an Extinct Species 
of Wolf. By J. A. Allen. Pp. 5. From 
American Journal of Science. 

Doctrine of Force, and its Bearing upon 
Theism. By G. N. Duzan, M. D. Pp. 39. 
Indianapolis : J. G. Doughty print. 

Memorial to Congress "on the Currency, 
from the New York Board of Trade. Pp. 

Report on Chicago Botanical Garden 
(1875). Pp. 4. 

Report of the Georgia Commissioners of 
Agriculture (1876). Pp. 180. Atlanta: 
Estill print. 

Polytechnic Review. Vol. i., No. 1. 
Monthly, $3 per annum. Philadelphia : W. 
H. Wahl and Robert Grimshaw, proprietors. 


Unhealthiness of New Bouses. The 

unhealthiness of new houses is due to the 
presence of moisture in their walls. This 
moisture may be held either mechanically, 
as by capillary attraction in the bricks, 
mortar, and plaster ; or chemically, in the 
hydrate of lime. Moisture held mechani 
cally is removable by air and warmth ; 
chemically-held moisture is removed grad 
ually by the action of carbonic acid con 
tained in the air. A writer in the English 
Mechanic suggests the use of a dew-point 
thermometer as a means of determining 
whether a house is sufficiently free from 
moisture to be inhabitable. If we take a 
reading of this in the open air, in the shade, 
and protected from wind, we have the actual 


atmospheric conditions. If we now trans 
fer the instrument to a room in the house 
which has been closed for a few hours and 
without artificial heating, we find the in 
ternal conditions. If the dry thermometer 
is lowered, we may conclude that the walls 
are cold, and so absorb heat. If the differ 
ence between the wet and dry bulbs is 
lessened, we know the evaporation condi 
tions are lessened ; that is, that the internal 
atmosphere is overcharged with moisture. 
The two together will prove that the walls 
are damp, and that the house is disadvan 
tageous to health. 

New Tanning Process. An exhibition 
was recently given at Havre, France, of 
Montoison s process of tanning. A variety 
of skins were experimented on, from the 
fresh skin of a calf, to the old skins of sheep 
and goats burnt and hardened by a tropi 
cal sun ; more time of course was required 
to unhaiv the latter than the former. The 
skins were first soaked in hot water, then 
they received two coats of a pasty liquid on 
the inside, and were piled up, inside to inside, 
to undergo the action of the composition. 
After the skins had been soaked for a short 
time, the wool and hair came from them ab 
solutely intact. The manner in which the 
wool came away from the skin by a touch 
of the hand created considerable astonish 
ment in the minds of those who witnessed 
the experiments. In a few seconds the 
skins were dipped in two special baths to 
neutralize the unhairing composition, and 
the afternoon was devoted to tanning ex 
periments, which proved the invention to be 
a complete success. Experienced tanners, 
who were present, declared the leather pro 
duced to be, to all appearance, fully equal to 
that produced by the tedious methods in 
common use. 

The Economy of Vegetarianism. A writ 
er in the Quarterly Journal of Science makes 
a trenchant criticism of the arguments usu 
ally employed by vegetarians in support of 
their-system of diet. The author considers 
the question from the economic, the moral, 
and the hygienic points of view, but we have 
not space to give more than an epitome of his 
remarks on the first of these topics. One 
hundred acres of good land, say the vegeta 

rians, will support a greater amount of hu 
man life if planted with wheat, potatoes, or 
other crops directly consumed by man, than 
if laid out in pasture or set with vegetables 
intended for the food of cattle. This is 
true, but all land is not good ; in every 
country there is abundance of land that is 
unfit for tillage, and which, nevertheless, 
yields excellent pasture. Under a vegeta 
rian regime such lands would cease to sup 
ply the food-market. So too the produce of 
the forest and moor game would cease. 
More serious still, the waters would no lon 
ger contribute their share. It might be said 
that poor lands could still be used for past, 
ure, and the produce of flocks and herds 
(wool, butter, cheese, milk) utilized. But if 
the grazer cannot sell the meat, it would 
be unprofitable to keep animals, unless he 
could get, for the products above named, 
prices a hundredfold higher than he gets 
now. Besides, the use of milk, butter, and 
cheese, is inconsistent with vegetarian prin 
ciples. In a strictly vegetarian country, tal 
low, hides, and hair, could scarcely be pro 
cured. Again, the refuse of the fisheries is 
rising into importance as a manure fully 
equal to Peruvian guano. But, if fish might 
no longer be captured, the supply of this 
fertilizer would be cut off, unless indeed the 
destruction of animal life for purposes other 
than food received an exceptional sanction. 
Even then the cost of the raw material 
would be greatly enhanced. 

Ancient American Civilization. In the 

" Congress of Americanists," held last July 
at Nancy, France, a very learned paper was 
read by Prof. Foucaux, of the College de 
France, in favor of the theory that the an 
cient civilization of America is the work of 
Buddhist missionaries. The theory was 
hotly attacked by several of the distin 
guished men present, among them by Fried- 
rich von Hellwald. The latter compared 
the story of Huei-shen to that of the sea- 
serpent. Dr. Hellwald is of the opinion 
that this theory received its death-blow at 
the Congress. Two other theories were 
also very badly damaged, namely, those of a 
lost continent of Atlantis and of Phoenician 
settlements in America. M. Leonde Rosny 
delivered a masterly address on the Maya 
hieroglyphics. The Maya was the sacred 



language of the ancient inhabitants of Yu 
catan, and the monuments of that country 
bear a number of inscriptions in a hiero 
glyph which has been only very partially de 
ciphered as yet. M. de Rosny first critically 
analyzed the attempts at decipherment made 
by his predecessors, the Abbe Brasseur de 
Bourbourg and H. de Charencey. The 
Bishop Diego de Landa first discovered a 
clew to the meaning of these hieroglyphs ; 
he made out the meaning of seventy-one 
signs, and the number has been increased to 
one hundred and thirty-two by De Rosny. 
The latter has also determined the order in 
which these signs should be read. As a 
rule, they run from left to right, but in ex 
ceptional cases from right to left. M. Os 
car Comettant, of Paris, a musician and 
composer, attended the Congress expressly 
for the purpose of reading a deeply inter 
esting paper on " Music in America before 
its Discovery by Columbus." The author 
described the Peruvian flute, and, to give 
the audience an idea of ancient Indian 
music, had a few simple native Peruvian 
melodies performed by members of the gar 
rison baud. The effect was very pleasing. 
A comparison of this music with that of 
China shows that the two are in no respect 
alike. Here was a new and unexpected ar 
gument against the truth of the Huei-shen 
story. The next meeting of the " Congress 
of Americanists" will be held in 1877, in the 
city of Luxembourg. 

Climatology of ffew Zealand. The two 

large islands of the New Zealand group, 
North and South Island, are both very moun 
tainous. In the North Island the mountains 
occupy about one-tenth of the surface, and 
in the South nearly four-fifths. The rivers 
are very numerous, and of large size in pro 
portion to the area of the country ; but 
few of them, however, are navigable. The 
greatest height of the main range in North 
Island is 6,000 feet ; but in the South Isl 
and, there are peaks from 10,000 to 14,000 
feet in height. The changes of weather and 
temperature in New Zealand are very sud 
den; calms and gales, rain and sunshine, 
heat and cold, alternate so frequently and 
suddenly as to defy previous calculation, so 
that there is no uniformly dry or wet sea- 
eon in the year. But, though these changes 

are sudden and frequent, they are confined 
within very narrow limits, the extremes of 
daily temperature varying throughout the 
year by an average of 20 only, while in 
Europe, at Rome, and other places of cor 
responding latitude with New Zealand, the 
same variation is 30 or more. In respect 
to temperature, New Zealand may be com 
pared either with England or Italy ; but 
London is 7 colder than the North, and 4 U 
colder than the South Island, and is less 
moist. Strong winds are prevalent, and 
particularly in the straits. Rain falls fre 
quently, but seldom in such excessive quan 
tity, or for such long periods, as in Austra 
lia. The rainfall, in 1871, was 54| inches; 
that of New York City in 1873 was 42^ 

Science-Teaching for the Young. The 

master of a school for young boys gives an 
account in Nature of his method of teach 
ing his young pupils science. For the pur 
poses of scientific instruction, the pupils are 
divided into three classes, the lowest of 
which contains about twenty boys, whose 
average age is nine years. Class II. is 
composed of ten boys, of an average age of 
twelve years, while the first class contains 
twelve boys, of an average age of twelve 
and a half years. The time weekly de 
voted to science-instruction is, for Class 
III., two lessons in botany of three-quarters 
of an hour each, and one hour s lesson in 
physical geography. The pupils are taught 
to distinguish the parts of a flower, and, by 
the aid of a chart, to discover the order to 
which any plant belongs. The second class 
gives two and a half hours per week to bot 
any. The standard of knowledge aimed at 
is such as is contained in Prof. Oliver s 
books, and the boys are expected to be abl* 
to find out any given plant in Bentham s 
" British Flora." The boys in the first class 
study chemistry, and spend one afternoon 
of an hour and a half at practical work in 
the laboratory. Another afternoon is em 
ployed in listening to a lecture founded upon 
a chapter in a text-book of chemistry. The 
boys, after the lecture, study up its subject- 
matter in the text-book, so as to be able to 
answer questions on it at the beginning of 
the next lesson. The standard aimed at is 
the power to discover a simple acid and base, 
and an acquaintance with the text-book. 



"These sciences," continues the author, 
" were chosen less as subjects of study than 
as instruments of training in order to culti 
vate the powers of observation, and to en 
courage a habit of inductive reasoning. If 
the teaching of science in its early stages is 
thus regarded more as a means than as an 
end, there is no child, who has begun to 
learn anything at all, who may not be taught 
some branch of it with advantage." The 
attempt was at first made to teach the chil 
dren science without making them learn 
anything by heart. The result was, that 
they did not know what to do with the 
facts they had collected, and lost them as 
fast as they picked them up. "But, since 
the botany boys have been set to learn the 
chart by heart, and since the chemistry 
boys have been using a text-book, the 
progress made has been far more satis 
factory. A young child s reasoning powers 
are so feeble that he needs to be constantly 
guided in the use of them, and, before being 
set to observe, he requires to be furnished 
with a cadre in which to arrange his bat 
talions of facts." 

Fishing for Glass-Sponges. The mode 
of fishing for the Euplectella, or "Venus s 
Flower- basket," on the coast of Zebu, one 
of the Philippines, is described as follows 
in the journal of a member of the Chal 
lenger Expedition : " The natives use an in 
geniously-contrived instrument in taking 
the sponges. Two long strips of bamboo 
meet at an angle of 45, and are fixed in 
that position by an elaborate system of 
stays of bamboo, which are attached to a 
piece of wood running back from the angle, 
between the two arms or wings of the ma 
chine. The piece of wood is weighted with 
stones, and a line is attached to it, so that 
the machine is pulled along on the bottom, 
with the angle in advance, and the two 
wings sloping backward. The outer edge 
of each of the bamboo rods is armed with 
between thirty and forty large fish-hooks, 
with their barbs set forward. The regederas, 
as the Spaniards call the euplectellas, are 
found at a depth of about a hundred fath 
oms. The Indian lets down the machine 
with a strong fine line of Manila hemp, and 
pulls it slowly over the ground. Every now 
and then he feels a slight tug, and at the 

end of an hour or so he pulls it in, with 
usually from five to ten regederas on the 
hooks. Euplectella has a very different ap 
pearance, under these circumstances, from 
the cones of glassy network so well known 
under that name. Its silver beard is clogged 
with the dark-gray mud in which it lives 
buried to about one-third of its height, and 
the network of the remainder of the tube is 
covered with a pall of yellowish sarcode. 

Congress of German Anthropologists. 

The Congress of Anthropologists held its 
sessions for 1875 in Munich, in the early 
part of August. The president, Prof. Vir- 
chow, reviewed the history of the Ger 
man Anthropological Society since its ori 
gin, sixteen years ago. Prof. Zittel called 
the attention of the delegates to the col 
lection of prehistoric relics on exhibition 
in one of the halls of the Odeon. The col 
lection represented the ancient Kelto-Ger- 
manic period of Bavarian history, and was 
the result of the joint efforts of various his 
torical societies, aided by the Government 
and by private collectors. " Of Tertiary 
man," said Prof. Zittel, 4i no trace is found 
in Bavaria, any more than in the rest 
of Germany, nor have we any human me 
morials from the period of the preglacial 
Diluvium. Even the Cavern and the Stone 
age yield but few human remains. Bury- 
ing-places furnish both dolichocephalous 
and brachycephalous crania the latter be 
longing to Southern Bavaria, the former to 
the Allemans and Franks. We must not 
deny to the Bavarian of to-day a Germanic 
origin on account of his brachycephaly, for 
even the Frisians are brachycephalic also. 
In manners and customs Bavaria is as Ger 
man as any other portion of Germany, and 
it is not to be dropped out of the German 
organism. Its post is that of guardian of 
the southern marches." 

The Weddas of Ceylon. A paper by 
Mr. B. F. Hartshorne, read at the British 
Association, gives some interesting particu 
lars of the social condition and habits of 
the Weddas of Ceylon. The Weddas de 
pend for their subsistence on bows and ar 
rows, and pass their lives in the vast forests 
of the country without any habitation, and 
without even the rudest attempt at culti- 



vating the soil. No flint or stone imple 
ments are to be found among them, and 
they produce a flame by rubbing two sticks 
together. Their intellectual capacity is so 
small, that they are unable to count or to 
discriminate colors. They are almost des 
titute of the religious sentiment, as well as 
of an appreciation of personal cleanliness, 
for they habitually eschew ablutions. They 
abhor theft and lying. But, perhaps the 
most remarkable trait in the character of 
the Weddas is the apparent absence of a 
faculty which is held to be peculiar to the 
human race that of laughter. It is stated 
that they regard the expression of mirth by 
others with surprise and disgust, and that 
no Wedda has ever been known to laugh. 

Lettuce as Food for Silkworms. A writ 
er in Das Ausland states that, in the sum 
mer of 1873, a few silkworms, belonging to 
his children, were fed with lettuce for some 
time after being hatched, mulberry-leaves 
not being obtainable. The caterpillars ate 
the lettuce ravenously, but, when they were 
about half-grown, a supply of mulberry- 
leaves was procured, and this constituted 
their food for the rest of the season. The 
moths in due time spun their cocoons as 
usual, and the next spring the author him 
self determined to feed the silkworms only 
on lettuce. The young brood devoured the 
lettuce in great quantities, care being taken 
to leave no moisture on the surface of the 
leaves. The insects grew and went through 
their metamorphoses in the usual manner ; 
a few only died, and they from carelessness 
in not wiping the leaves dry. The cocoons 
were of good quality, and the author intend 
ed to exhibit some of them at the Royal 
Agricultural Hall in Stuttgart Time alone 
can determine whether silkworms will de 
generate on being fed on lettuce. How 
ever this may be, the subject is one that is 
worthy of investigation. 

Dredging for Amber. According to an 
official report from Memel, Germany, an es 
tablishment has been organized for obtain 
ing amber by dredging in the Kurische Haff, 
near the village of Schwarzorts, situated 
about twelve miles south of Memel. It has 
been known for many years that amber ex 
isted in the soil of this place, from the fact 

that the dredger employed by the Govern 
ment for clearing away the shallow spots 
near Schwarzorts, which impeded naviga 
tion, brought up pieces of amber, which 
were duly appropriated by the workmen, 
and at the time no particular attention was 
paid to the matter. Some time afterward, 
however, some speculators associated, and 
made an offer to the Government not only 
to do the dredging wherever required at 
their own expense, but to pay a daily rent, 
provided the amber which they might find 
should become their property. This pro 
posal was accepted, and the rent fixed at 15 
thalers, and later at 25 thalers, for each 
working day. The dredging was begun 
with four machines worked by men, and 
one worked by horses. Judging from the 
extended business transactions in this mat 
ter, its results must have been extremely 
profitable. At present, the work is carried 
on with eighteen steam-dredges and two 
tug-boats, the whole managed by about 
1,000 laborers. 

Temperature of Germination. It is gen 
erally supposed that the seeds of plants do 
not germinate at a temperature lower than 
4 or 5 Cent. (40 Fahr.), but certain experi 
ments made by Uloth, and published in the 
German botanical magazine, Flora, would 
seem to show that this opinion is erroneous. 
In Dr. Uloth s experiments the seeds of 
Acer platanoides and of Triticum germi 
nated at a temperature not exceeding zero 
C. (32 Fahr.). In the winters of 187l- 72 
and 1872- 73, he made the following experi 
ments : He took two boxes and in each had 
a certain depth of water frozen into a block 
of ice. In these blocks he made furrows four 
millimetres deep, in which he sowed seeds 
of various plants, which were the same for 
the two boxes. He now covered the boxes 
with a plate of ice, and stored them away 
in two separate ice-houses. He then partly 
filled two boxes with soil, in which he sowed 
the same kinds of seeds. These boxes he 
also covered with plates of ice, and stored 
them in the same ice-houses with the others. 
Care was taken to have a good thickness of 
ice (over four feet) surrounding the boxes on 
every side, so as to provide against any 
elevation of the temperature. The boxea 
were placed in the ice-houses in January, 



1872, at a temperature of 8 C., and they 
were taken out on May 15th. In 1873, they 
Were placed in the ice-houses in February, 
the temperature being 5 C., examined on 
March 25th, and removed on May 15th. The 
kinds of seed sown were twenty-five in num 
ber. On March 25th, four had germinated, 
viz., Lepidium ruderale, L. safivum, Sinapis 
alba and Brassica napus, all Cruciferae. On 
May 15th, besides the foregoing, the follow 
ing seeds had germinated: Arabis alpina, 
jflthionema saxatile, Brassica nigra, Petro- 
selinum sativum, Cannabis saliva, Ervum 
lens, Pisum sativum, Avena sativa, Secale 
cereale, Hordeum vulgare, Triticum vulgare. 
Hence it appears that the seed of Cru- 
ci ferae and of Gramineae freely germinate at 
the temperature of zero C. Of the seeds 
named above, about an equal number ger 
minated in ice and in earth. The radicles 
had penetrated the blocks of ice. Those 
seeds which had not germinated lay rotten 
on the surface of the ice or of the soil. 

Transformation of Species. An instance 
of transformation of species is recorded as 
follows in the Zeitschrift fur Wissensihaft- 
liche Zoologie. There are some salt-marshes 
near Odessa, which in 1871 contained num 
bers of Artemia salina, a minute crusta 
cean, also known as the brine-worm. At 
that time, owing to the rupture of a dike, 
the quantity of salt in the pond was very 
small, the water marking 8 in the Baume" 
areometer. The dikes were repaired, and 
concentration then proceeded rapidly until, 
in September, 1875, the water marked 25. 
As the salt was increased the Artemia sa 
lina was modified from generation to gen 
eration, so that, by the end of 1874, several 
individuals had no caudal lobes (see figure 
of A. salina in No. 20 of the MONTHLY, 
December, 1873), and they presented all 
the specific characters of Artemia Mulhau- 
seni. The changes observed from year to 
year are minutely described. They appeared 
especially in the caudal part, and were ac 
companied by diminution of size. These 
observations were confirmed by experi 
ments made on Artemia kept in water of 
various degrees of softness. In the inverse 
experiment from a greater to a less soft 
ness, A. Mulhauseni returned to the form 
of A, salina. As the saltness increased or 

decreased, there was an increase of dimi- 
nution of the surfaces of the bronchiae. The 
writer of the article further gives reasons 
for thinking that the genus Artemia is 
only a degraded form of Bronchipus, de 
graded through the influence of the me 

Clothing the lonng. " Hygiene ol 
Dress " is the subject of a series of articles in 
the Sanitary Record. The author s remarks 
concerning the proper clothing of infants 
and children are judicious. "Warmth," 
he says, "is the first requisite for infants, 
who are very susceptible to cold. The 
clothing of the infant should be both light 
and warm. Its purpose is to protect the 
infant from chills, or rather to prevent too 
great a loss of heat. It should be ample 
enough to prevent any pressure on the 
blood-vessels, which would impede the cir 
culation and hinder the free development 
of the members. It should be especially 
easy over the chest, in order to insure the 
free play of the lungs and heart, and should 
be equally ample around the stomach and 
the intestines, in order not to interfere 
with digestion. The sleeves should be 
wide, in order that the garment may be 
easily put on, and to favor the circulation 
of the blood in the arteries and veins of the 
arms and legs. The robe should be long 
enough to preserve the infant from cold, 
but not so long as to be a burden. The 
head should not be covered. A cap often 
tends to favor congestions ; sometimes, too, 
it compresses the head, and certain cere 
bral affections have been, apparently with 
good reason, referred to this cause alone. 

An Automatic Light-Registering Machine. 

Mr. Crookes has made an ingenious appli 
cation of his radiometer to meteorological 
purposes. In our present meteorological rec 
ords we note variations in heat, rainfall, at 
mospheric pressure, etc., but light, the most 
important influence, has been neglected hith 
erto, for the want of a machine for automati 
cally registering its variations. Mr. Crookes 
has arranged the arms of his radiometer so 
that they carry round a small magnet sus 
pended beneath them. The amount of light 
falling on the pith-balls at the extremities of 
the radiometer arms determines the rate 



of rotation. Near the magnet, attached 
to the rotating arms, is suspended another 
magnet, which oscillates as the attached 
magnet presents alternately its north and 
south poles. This oscillation makes and 
breaks an electric circuit, which, by a wire 
of any required length, is connected with 
a recording Morse machine moved by 
clockwork. Each revolution of the rotat 
ing pith-balls is thus recorded by a punch 
of the Morse on a strip of paper, and so a 
register is kept of the amount of light fall 
ing at any place. 

A Mountain of Granite. The "Stone 
Mountain " of De Kalb County, Georgia, is 
described in the American Journal of Sci 
ence by Mr. E. Hillyer. It is a solid, bald 
mass of granite, from 1,500 to 2,000 feet 
in height. The northeast side is perpen 
dicular, unbroken, and smooth ; the north 
west side is inclined so as to be of easy 
ascent ; while the west and southwest are 
so steep as to be barely accessible. On the 
inclined surface the rock breaks off in lay 
ers, a few inches to several feet thick, 
which structure may be due to shrinking in 
cooling, and to atmospheric influences, to 
gether with solar heat. The rock is per 
fectly homogeneous, with no trace of strati 
fication a pure whitish granite. There is 
no doubt that below the surface lamination 
a piece could be quarried out a quarter of 
a mile in length, if man could command 
the means. This granite exists over a wide 
region of country, and is much used for 

Rattlesnakes and their Bites. In the 

course of some notes on the rattlesnake, 
published in Forest and Stream, Dr. J. W. 
Bailey, of Albany, asserts that this serpent 
is the most sluggish of the snake family. 
It never strikes unless in self-defense, ex 
cepting just before and after its winter 
sleep. Of course, the rattlesnake s idea of 
self-defense is rather broad. Thus, if a 
person step upon it by the purest accident 
the snake will make no allowance, but 
strikes the intruder on the spot. To strike, 
however, it must be in close coil, with its 
head erect. It is capable of springing only 
a little more than half its length, unless it 
be lying on an inclined plane; then, by 

supporting itself entirely on its tail, it can 
spring much farther. Hogs attack the rat 
tlesnake with impunity, the effect of the 
poison being probably neutralized by a thick 
layer of adipose tissue. Dr. Bailey is able 
to contradict, from his own experience, the 
statement that serpents do not move about 
at night ; he has often, when riding by moon 
light seen them gliding through the grass. 
The author says that, when the venom of a 
serpent has entered the circulation, all rem 
edies are unavailing. He has seen a freshly- 
killed chicken split open and applied to the 
wound, with good results. In such cases 
the flesh of the chicken turns green and pu 
trid where it comes in contact with the vi 
rus. The most certain remedy, however, is 
whiskey or brandy used in large quantities 
say a quart immediately. Intoxication 
is not exhibited until the poison has been 
counteracted. Sweet-oil, taken in doses of 
several ounces, is also effectual. Sports 
men camping in Texas are accustomed, af 
ter pitching their tent, to stretch around it 
a hair lariat. The short hairs irritate the 
snake s belly as he attempts to cross the 
lariat, and he retreats. 

Cause of Monstrosities. In the course 
of a discussion of the subject of " monstros 
ities," in the Detroit Academy of Medicine, 
Prof. Armor, of the Long Island Medical 
College, who was present, presented some 
ingenious views, which may be briefly stated 
as follows : Monstrosity is commonly re 
ferred to " arrest of development " or to 
" abnormal development." But what is the 
true cause ? Prof. Armor answers : 1. 
Something deficient or abnormal in the gen 
erative matter from which the foetus is de 
veloped. This generative matter he looked 
upon as representative ; there is not a tis 
sue, structure, or form, that is not repre 
sented in it, so that deviation from the 
normal type may be impressed at the very 
instant of conception. The next point was 
the faithful transmission of acquired struct 
ural peculiarities, when once fully estab 
lished. Finally, it was suggested that the 
discussion of this subject bears directly 
upon the great question of evolution : the 
strongest and fittest survive ; weak parts 
of the organism atrophy and die they 
cease to be seminally represented. 2. The 

12 4 


next cause of monstrosities mentioned was 
such as operated directly on the foetus 
in utero. The generative matter may be 
perfect and fully representative, but certain 
morbid influences may act directly on the 
fo3tus. Dr. Armor instanced the experi 
ments made in producing malformations by 
submitting hens eggs to various mechani 
cal influences during incubation. In con 
clusion, he held that all causes of malforma 
tion would come under one of two heads : 
They are either generative or mechanical 
sometimes one operating, sometimes the 
other, sometimes both. 

Habitat of the Crocodile. Till recently 
the two American species of crocodile, de 
scribed by Cuvier, have been supposed to 
be confined to South America and the West 
Indies. In 1870 Prof. Wyman identified a 
skull from Florida as belonging to Cuvier s 
species, Crocodilus acutus. Mr. William T. 
Hornaday now describes in the American 
Naturalist two specimens male and female 
of the Crocodilus acutus which he cap 
tured last year in the vicinity of Biscayne 
Bay, on the southeast coast of Florida. 
The male waa fourteen feet in length, and 
his girth at a point midway between fore 
and hind legs was five feet two inches. His 
teeth were large and blunt ; his head rugose 
and knotty, with armor-plates very large 
and rough. On dissection it was found 
that during life he had sustained serious 
bodily injuries, probably in battle. Three 
of his teeth were shattered ; the tibia and 
fibula of the right hind-leg had been broken 
in the middle and again united, also one of 
the metatarsal bones of the same limb ; 
the tail had been docked, and two of the 
vertebrae had grown together solidly. 

The female measured ten feet eight inch 
es. Her head was regular in outline, 
comparatively smooth, with white, regular, 
and sharp plates, even in surface and con 
tour, and colors very marked. The entire 
under-surface of both specimens was pale- 
yellow, shading gradually darker up the 
sides with fine irregular streaks and spots 
of black. The general appearance of the 
female was decidedly yellowish, while the 
back and tail of the male showed an almost 
entire absence of yellow, the prevailing 
color being a leaden, lustreless black. 

While in Florida the author saw the skulls 
or other remains of three other crocodiles. 
He observes that all the specimens were 
taken in water that is brackish about half 
the time. 

Effects of Strain on the Magnetism of 
Soft Iron. The following account of exper 
iments made by Sir William Thomson, with 
a view to ascertain the effects of stress up 
on the magnetism of soft iron, we take from 
the Telegraphic Journal. Wires of steel 
and of soft iron, about twenty feet long, 
were suspended from the roof of the physi 
cal laboratory of Glasgow University. An 
electro-magnetic helix was placed around a 
few inches of each of the wires, so that the 
latter could be magnetized when an electric 
current was passed through the former, the 
induced current thus produced in a second 
helix outside the first being indicated by a 
second galvanometer. With steel wire, the 
magnetism diminished when weights were 
attached to the wire, and increased when 
they were taken off; but with " special " 
soft-iron wire (wire almost as soft as lead), 
the magnetism was increased when weights 
were put on, and diminished when they 
were taken off. Afterward he discarded 
the electrical apparatus ; and, by suspend 
ing a piece of soft wire near the magnet 
ometer, consisting of a needle a small frac 
tion of a grain in weight, with a reflecting 
mirror attached, the wire was magnetized 
inductively, simply by the magnetism of the 
earth, and changes in its magnetism were 
made by applying weights and strains, the 
changes being then indicated by the mag 

The Origin of Astronomy. Like that 
of many other sciences and arts, the origin 
of astronomy has been ascribed to various 
nations of antiquity, and it is very doubtful 
if any one of these can lay exclusive claim 
to the credit of having been its founder. 
The succession of day and night and of the 
seasons, the phases of the moon, and the 
motions of the heavenly bodies, must have 
enlisted the attention of man from the ear 
liest times and in every clime. The result 
would naturally be a more or less perfect 
system of astronomy. Some nations, no 
doubt, from one cause or another, culti- 



vated this science with more success than 
others, and among these the Assyrians, 
Babylonians, or Chaldeans, are preeminent. 
The records of their observations were 
adopted by the Greeks, and through the 
latter were transmitted to the Romans. 
Thus our modern astronomy is really trace 
able back to the plains of Babylonia. The 
question arises, Of what race were the 
founders of Chaldean astronomy ? This 
subject is considered by A. H. Sayce, who, 
in a communication to Nature, says that 
they were not Semites, but a people who 
are now generally termed Accadians, and 
who spoke an agglutinative language. 
" They had come from the mountains of 
Elam or Susiana, on the east, bringing with 
them the rudiments of writing and civiliza 
tion. They found a cognate race already 
settled in Chaldea, and in conjunction with 
the latter they built the great cities of 
Babylonia, whose ruins still attest their 
power and antiquity. Somewhere between 
3000 and 4000 B. c., the Semites entered 
the country from the east, and gradually 
contrived to conquer the whole of it. It is 
probable the conquest was completed about 
2000 B. c. At all events Accadian became 
a dead language some two or three centu 
ries later, but, as the Semitic invaders owed 
almost all the civilization they possessed to 
their more polished predecessors, it re 
mained the language of literature, like Latin 
in the middle ages, down to the last days 
of the Assyrian Empire." 

Sounds produced by Wowing into a 
Flame. Some noteworthy observations 
have been made by Decharme on the pro 
duction of sounds by blowing into a flame 
through a tube. He is of opinion that the 
air acts rather chemically than mechani 
cally. The sounds, according to him, result 
from small explosions by the combination 
of the oxygen of the air with the hydrogen 
or carbon of the flame, in imperfect com 
bustion. For the sound to occur, the pres 
ence of air, or of an inert gas mixed with 
oxygen, seems necessary. In one of M. 
Decharrae s experiments the white flame 
from a Bunsen burner, with the lateral 
apertures closed, gave a very strong sound 
when blown into with a tube ; whereas the 
blue flame, produced when the apertures 

are open, gave a very weak one, or none at 
all. Carbonic acid alone, or nitrogen, or 
oxygen, or chlorine, blown into a flame of 
illuminating gas, gave little or no sound ; 
protoxide of nitrogen gave a sound that 
was weak, but more acute than that ob 
tained from air. 

Exploration of Victoria Cave. Dr. Tidde- 
man read a report on the exploration of 
the Victoria Cave, Settle, during the year 
1874-"75. The report assigns to the pre- 
glacial or the glacial age the lower deposits 
of this cave, which contain early Pleisto 
cene animal remains associated with a hu 
man fibula. The animal bones were nearly 
all mere fragments, though one was perfect ; 
they represent bears, oxen, deer, goats or 
sheep, elephants, swans, etc. Attention was 
called in the report to the great distance of 
time which separated that age from our own. 
In the cave Roman times were separated 
from our own day by deposits sometimes 
less than a foot thick, but nowhere by more 
than two feet of talus, the chips which time 
detached from the cliffs above. The Neo 
lithic age, which antiquaries knew was a 
considerable time before the Roman occu 
pation, is represented in some places at a 
depth of four or five feet beneath the Ro 
man layer, but at others it runs into it. Then 
come nine feet of talus without a record of 
any living thing. Judging by the shallow- 
ness of the Roman 1 ayer, this must repre 
sent an enormous interval of time. Next 
come the bowlders, the inscribed records 
of the Glacial period. They must repre 
sent a long series of climatic changes dur 
ing which the ice was waxing and waning, 
advancing and moving back over the mouth 
of the cave. Then there is a break in the 
continuity of the deposits, the bowlders ly 
ing on the edges of the older beds, which 
shows that time was given for changes to 
take place to allow the district to cool down 
from a warmth suitable to the hippopota 
mus and become a fitting pasture for the 
reindeer. It was in that warm period that 
the man lived and died whose fibula oceurs 
among the bones in the cave. 

Methods of preserving Fresh Meat. So 

numerous are the processes devised in mod 
ern times for the preservation of food, that 



a simple catalogue of them would occupy 
several pages of this magazine. In so far 
as the preservation of vegetables and of cer 
tain fruits is concerned a very fair measure 
of success has undoubtedly been achieved ; 
but with flesh-meat the case is different. 
We propose to describe here a few of the 
chief methods adopted for preserving meats, 
following for the most part a writer upon 
this subject in the Journal of the Society of 
Arts. These methods may all be reduced 
under the four heads of Desiccation, Re 
frigeration, Use of Chemical Antiseptics, 
and Application of Heat. Desiccation or 
drying has been practised from the earliest 
times. Charqui, or jerked beef, is an ex 
ample of fairly successful preservation, but 
it is immensely inferior to fresh meat. Some 
years ago the food committee of the Lon 
don Society of Arts reported favorably 
upon some specimens of "powdered beef" 
from Queensland; but the article has been 
unable to win its way to public favor. The 
reason of this no doubt is, that animal mat 
ter preserved by desiccation loses its flavor 
and becomes tough and indigestible, the 
fat becomes rancid, and in damp weather 
the whole turns mouldy and sour. These 
difficulties are to some extent obviated by 
mixing absorbent substances with fatty 
food, as in "pemmican," where sugar and 
spice are mixed with dry powdered meat. 
Meat-biscuit is made on a similar principle. 
Tellier, of Paris, adopts the following meth 
od: He first exhausts the air from a close 
vessel containing the meat, then fills it with 
carbonic-acid gas, again exhausts and again 
fills with the same gas. In this way the air 
is almost entirely removed. He then ab 
sorbs the carbonic acid by the use of a con 
centrated solution of potash, by which a 
very near approach to a vacuum is produced. 
The meat is removed from the vessel after 
three days, and may be kept sound without 
further trouble, but it will have lost 20 per 
cent, of its weight. 

The keeping of meat by refrigeration is 
practised on a small scale in every house 
hold. The same thing was done on a large 
scale at Melbourne in 1872, when a large 
quantity of meat was kept for six weeks 
perfectly fresh in an ice-chamber. In the 
following year an attempt was made to ship 
from Australia to England meat kept fresh 
by the same method, but the experiment 

failed. Better success has attended later 
shipments of meat from Canada to London, 
and from Texas to New Orleans. The prog 
ress made in ice-making machines is such 
as to inspire great hopes of success in pre 
serving meat by cold. 

Among chemical antiseptics common salt 
of course holds a place. Many patents have 
been taken out for the employment of 
sulphur-fumes (sulphurous acid). Bisul 
phite of lime is very efficacious for the tem 
porary preservation of meat, and has been 
practically tested with favorable results. 
Our readers need not be reminded of what 
is claimed for salicylic acid. Among other 
chemical agents employed for this purpose 
we may mention acetate of potash and chlo- 

The expulsion of atmospheric air from 
vessels containing meat, by means of heat, 
is certainly the most successful method of 
preservation yet adopted. Many difficult 
processes are in use, but the main principle 
expulsion of air by heat is the same in 
all. They all, too, agree in this, that they 
render the meat comparatively insipid. 


THE subject of iterated nesting by birds 
being under discussion hi Forest and Stream, 
Dr. Charles C. Abbott contributes to that 
journal the following list of birds which he 
has himself observed nesting twice in sum 
mer : 1. Usually breeding twice robin, cat 
bird, bluebird, house-wren, yellow warbler, 
English sparrow, bay-winged bunting, chip- 
ping-sparrow, song-sparrow, orchard ori 
ole ; 2. Occasionally breeding twice white- 
breasted nuthatch, scarlet tanager, yellow- 
bird, chewink, Baltimore oriole, purple gra- 

THE American Metrological Society has, 
through its president, memorialized Con- 
ress for the preparation of coins, of metri 
cal weight and uniform fineness, and for the 
passage of laws and conclusion of treaties 
whereby such coins shall become legal ten 
der, according to their weight. 

A CRUCIAL experiment was recently 
made at Sunderland, England, on a fire 
proof house. One of the rooms was filled 
with tar-barrels, wood, and other combusti 
ble material, and, when the door was shut, 
the mass was set on fire. It simply burnt 
tself out, without apparently affecting the 
condition of the adjoining rooms or the sta 
bility of the house itself. The building ma 
terial was a concrete of cement and fibre 



bound together by strings of iron and wire. A COMMITTEE of the Boston Society of 

This becomes a sort of stone-cloth, avail- Civil Engineers has drafted afom of Jed 
able for floors and doors, as well as walls tion to be addressed to ConS askin- 
and ceilings, so that no wood whatever need for the establishment of the meS systenl 

of ^ weights and measures in this country. 

be used. 

A SMALL pike caught by Dr. Charles C. 
Abbott, of Trenton, New Jersey, seemed to 
be unusually corpulent, so the fish was dis 
sected. ^ It was found to contain a large 
mud-minnow; within the minnow was a 
pike about two inches long, and within the 
pike the remains of another mud-minnow ! 

THE action of sundry drugs on the liver 
has been experimentally studied by Drs. 
Rutherford and Vignal, the result going to 
show that podophylline, aloes, and colchi- 
cura, are powerful hepatic stimulants. The 
same property, but in an inferior degree, is 
possessed by rhubarb, senna, taraxacum, 
and scammony. Croton-oil appears to have 
but little action on the liver. In three cases 
out of four calomel had no action on the 
liver, and in the fourth the secretion of bile 
was slightly increased. 

THE Lancet publishes a list of British 
physicians deceased last year at an advanced 
age. There are nineteen names in the list, 
and the sum of their ages amounts to 1,617 
years, showing an average age of eighty- 
five years. The greatest age attained by 
any of the deceased was ninety-six years, 
and three had reached that term. The low 
est was seventy-six years, at which age two 
of the deceased ended their career. 

THE Monthly Weather Review of the 

This system is now in use in all European 
countries except England, Norway, Sweden 
Russia, and Turkey. It has also been 
adopted in Mexico and the various states 
of South America. 

THE Royal College of Surgeons, of Eng 
land, having been advised by eminent coun 
sel that the terms of their charter require 
them to admit women as candidates for 
their diploma, have announced that they 
are now ready to admit women to the ex 
aminations, on the same conditions as men. 

THE repugnance of the Chinese to rail 
roads is based upon an article of their reli 
gion ancestor-worship. Constructors of 
railroads pay no respect to ancient burying- 
places, but run their lines right through 
them, thus disturbing the repose of the 
dead. This disregard of the sacredness of 
the last resting-place of the departed griev 
ously scandalizes the devout Chinaman. 

CYNODRAKON MAJOR is the name pro 
posed by Prof. Richard 0\ven for a reptile 
having some points of mammalian resem 
blance, some fossil bones of which have 
been found in the late paleozoic or early 
mesozoic formation of South Africa. Prof. 
Owen thinks he recognizes in these fossils 
some indications of retrogression rather 
than progression in descent. A problem 

peach and cherry buds swelling at Litch- 
field, Michigan, and on the same day roses 
in bloom at Green Springs, Alabama. 

As mentioned in the Notes of the No 
vember number, the Abbe Moigno, of Paris, 
has published several papers by Tyndall, 
Huxley, Du Bois-Reymond, and others, ac 
companying them with refutations of their 
authors freethinking arguments. The good 
abbe doubtless meant well, but the Roman 
"Congregation of the Index" finds in his 
book more poison than antidote, and ac 
cordingly forbids it to be circulated. 

EARTHQUAKE-SHOCKS are stated in the 
Monthly Weather Review to have been felt 
on December 3d at Carson City, Nevada 
(slight); 13th, at Maricopa Wells, Arizopa; 
21st, at Santa Barbara, California; 22d, at 
Fortress Monroe, Virginia ; also at New 
Market, Indiana ; Greensboro, North Caro 
lina ; Petersburg, Virginia ; and other points 
in Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. 

Signal-Office records the following phe- j here presented for which, in Owen s opin- 
nomena for December, 1875, namely : Dan- i n neither the Lamarckian nor the Dar- 
delions in bloom at Brownsville, Pennsyl- wiuian theories offer any answer, 
vania, on the 23d ; 24th, pinks and hyacinths 

in bloom at Brookhaven, Mississippi; 25th, .. , WE ?? f f\ ican %?*"*** 

...>. ... . -V that a summer School ot Biology will be held 

in the Peabody Museum at Salem, Massachu 
setts, beginning July 7th, and continuing 
six weeks. Special attention will be given 
to marine botany and zoology. Mr. J 
Robinson will be instructor in botany, with 
C. H. Higbee as assistant. A. S. Packard, 
Jr., with the assistance of J. S. Kingslcy 
and S. E. Cassino, will give instruction in 
zoology. Special instruction in microscopy 
by Rev. E. C. Bolles. The number of pu 
pils is limited to fifteen. 

FURTHER experiments with salicylic acid, 
made by Feser and Friedberger, show that 
it may bo administered for a long time, in 
small doses, to domestic animals, without 
injurious effects to digestion, nutrition, or 
general health. But, given to a dog in the 
proportion of one gramme to five kilo 
grammes of the animal s weight, salicylic 
acid causes paralysis of the extremities and 
disorder of the respiration and circulation. 
Death from strong doses of the acid results 
from paralysis of the respiration. 



THE Normal (Illinois) "School of Natural 
History " will open on July 25th, continu 
ing in session till August 25th. The course 
of study embraces comparative anatomy of 
vertebrates ; comparative anatomy of in 
vertebrates ; analytical zoology ; analytical 
entomology; botany. In the list of in 
structors are the names of B. G. Wilder, 
Cyrus Thomas, and J. A. Sewall. Fuller 
information given by S. A. Forbes, Normal, 

IN the American Journal of Science for 
February, Prof. J. D. Dana corrects an 
error which for many years has circulated 
in geographies, gazetteers, and similar 
works. This error consists in representing 
the West and East Rocks near New Haven 
as being the termination of the Green and 
White Mountains respectively. " The fact 
is," writes Prof. Dana, " that East Rock is 
but a short appendage to the system of 
trap-dikes of the Connecticut Yalley, and 
West Rock, a southern portion of the same 
system. The Green Mountains," he adds, 
" consist of metamorphic rocks, and are 
not younger than Silurian. But the trap 
ridges of the Connecticut Valley belong to 
the valley, and are of Jurassic origin." 

A STATION for agricultural experiments 
has been established at the Wesleyan Uni 
versity, Middletown, by the State of Con 
necticut. Dr. At water, Professor of Chem 
istry in the university is the director, and 
Dr. W. C. Tilden, with two assistants, is the 
acting chemist. The State appropriation 
being insufficient to defray all the expenses 
of the station, the proprietors of the Amer 
ican Agriculturist have agreed to make up 
the deficiency. 

THE twin-steamship Castalia, which dur 
ing four months of last year daily made 
voyages between Dover and Calais, appears 
to have given satisfaction in every respect, 
save speed. Arrangements have now been 
made by the Channel Steamship Company 
for the building of a large twin-steamship, 
which, uniting all the advantages of the 
Castalia with such improvements as experi 
ence has suggested, will have a speed of 
not less than fourteen knots an hour. 

A WONDERFUL case of recovery from a 
gunshot-wound was that of the late Com 
mander Sanders of the British Navy, who 
died last February, at the age of ninety-one 
years. In 1803 he was shot in the head, 
the bullet passing clear through from ear to 
eye. He was kindly cared for by the sur 
geon of the French ship which he was at 
tempting to " cut out " when he received the 
wound. At the end of five years detention 
as a prisoner of war, he went back to Eng 
land sound and well, with the exception of 
the loss of an eye. 

THE relative strength of various sub 
stances is stated as follows in the Scientific 
American: A rod ^ inch in diameter, of 
the best steel, will sustain, before breaking, 
9,000 Ibs. ; soft steel, 7,000 Ibs. ; iron wire, 
6,000 Ibs. ; good iron, 4,000 Ibs. ; inferior 
bar-iron, 2,000 Ibs.; cast-iron, 1,000 to 
3,000 Ibs. ; copper wire, 3,000 Ibs. ; silver, 
2,000 Ibs. ; gold, 2,500 Ibs. ; tin, 300 Ibs. ; 
cast-zinc, 160 Ibs. ; cast-lead, 50 Ibs. ; milled 
lead, 200 Ibs. ; box or locust wood, 1,200 
Ibs. ; toughest ash, 1,000 Ibs. ; elm, 800 Ibs. ; 
beech, cedar, white-oak, pitch-pine, 600 
Ibs. ; chestnut and maple, 650 Ibs. ; poplar, 
400 Ibs. 

A NEW variety of bronze, containing 
manganese, and known as " manganese 
bronze," has lately been introduced in Eng 
land. It is said to be very valuable for all 
kinds of small work wherein gun-metal is 
now used, and it is capable of being forged 
like iron. 

DURING a visitation of extreme cold 
weather in the vicinity of Carson River, the 
quicksilver pump in the Eureka mill ceased 
to perform its proper functions ; the ma 
chinery of the pump continued to work, but 
no quicksilver was raised. On examination, 
the mercury in the tank was found to be 
frozen solid. 

THE British Geological Society has this 
year awarded to Prof. T. H. Huxley its 
Wollaston Medal. Prof. Huxley has also 
been elected a Corresponding Member of 
the Danish Academy of Sciences. The 
Royal Academy of Rome has conferred a 
similar honor upon Mr. Herbert Spencer, 
having elected him a Corresponding Fellow. 

PROF. D. S. JORDAN, of Indianapolis, will 
conduct a summer School of Science, during 
the coming season, in the mountains of East 
Tennessee. The members of the school will 
collect specimens of the birds, reptiles, fishes, 
insects, and plants, of that region. 

IN a cave near Thayngen, Switzerland, 
Conrad Merck has discovered a quantity of 
animal remains, consisting of bones of the 
reindeer, cave-lion, mammoth, woolly-haired 
rhinoceros, urus, glutton, and other species. 
Relics of human habitation have also been 
found in great abundance such as flint- 
flakes, implements of reindeer-horn, and sev 
eral well-executed engravings on bone, horn, 
and lignite. 

A WRITER in the Gardeners Monthly 
states that, when properly cured, the kernel 
of the American walnut is white and deli 
cious, with a delicate flavor hardly surpassed 
by any nut. The nuts should be gathered as 
soon as they are ripe, and not allowed to 
remain in the hull. They should then be 
dried quickly. 




JUNE, 1876. 


THE following observations were made from day to day and taken 
down on the spot. The subject of them was a little girl, whose 
mental development took the ordinary course, being neither precocious 
nor the reverse. 

From the first, probably by reflex action, this child cried inces 
santly, kicked, moved all its limbs, and perhaps all its muscles. It 
was also doubtless by reflex action that, during the first week, she 
moved her fingers, and even grasped for some length of time the finger 
of another person. Toward the third month, she began to touch with 
her hands, and to stretch out her arms, but did not yet know how to 
guide her hand ; she essayed movements of the anterior members, ex 
periencing the consequent tactile and muscular sensations nothing 
more. In my opinion, out of this enormous multiplicity of movements, 
continually repeated, will be separated, by gradual selection, inten 
tional movements having an object and attaining it. During the last 
fifteen days (age, two and a half months) I have observed one move 
ment which is plainly an acquired one : on hearing its grandmother s 
voice, the infant turns its head in the direction from which the sound 

There is the same spontaneous training for the use of the voice as 
for movements. The vocal organ acquires dexterity just as the limbs 
do. The child learns how to produce such or such a sound just as it 
learns how to turn the head or the eyes, i. e., by constant efforts. 

Toward the age of three months and a half, while in the country, 
the child was brought into the open air, and laid upon a carpet spread 
in the garden. Here, lying on her back or on her face, she for hours 
at a time would work with all her limbs, uttering a multitude of differ- 

1 Translated from Revue Philosophique by J. Fitzgerald, A. M. 
VOL. ix. 9 


ent cries and exclamations, consisting exclusively of vowel-sounds ; 
this continued several months. 

By degrees consonants were added to the vowels, and the excla 
mations became more and more articulate. This process resulted in a 
sort of prattle of great diversity and completeness, which would be 
kept up for a quarter of an hour at a time, and repeated ten times a 
day. The sounds (vowel and consonant), which at first were vague 
and very hard to discriminate, became more and more like those ut 
tered by adults, and the series of simple cries came to be, in some 
measure, like a foreign language which we do not understand. The 
infant is pleased with its prattle, like a bird ; one can see that she is 
happy that she smiles with pleasure yet it is nothing better than 
the chirruping of a bird as yet, for the child does not attach any 
meaning to the sounds she utters. (Age, twelve months). 

She has acquired thus much, in great measure, by her own endeav 
ors and unassisted, but she has gained a little by the aid of others and 
by imitation. First, of her own accord she produced the sound mm ; 
this amused her it was for her a discovery. So, too, she of herself 
produced another sound, Ara<mw, emitted from the windpipe in deep 
gutturals. These two sounds were repeated several times in succes 
sion in the hearing of the child ; she would listen attentively, and 
now she repeats them at once on hearing them. The same is to be 
said of the sound papapapa, which she at first uttered several times 
at random and by herself, and which was then repeated to her a num 
ber of times, in order to fix it in her memory. She soon uttered 
this sound at will, with easy, unerring execution (though without un 
derstanding what it meant), as simple prattle. In short, example and 
education have served only to call the child s attention to sounds 
which she herself was already attempting to make ; to direct her pref 
erence to these, to make them uppermost among the host of similar 
sounds. But the initiative all came from herself; and the same is to 
be said with respect to gesture. For months she of her own accord 
attempted all the movements of the arms, flexion of the hand at the 
wrist, bringing the hands together, etc. Then, after instruction and 
repeated effort, she learned to clap hands, to hold up the two hands, 
as in the gesture of astonishment, etc. Example, instruction, and 
education, are only channels in the bed of which the stream flows ; 
its source lies higher. 

To see that this is the case, one has only to listen to her prattle for 
an hour : it is wonderfully flexible. I am satisfied that here every shade 
of emotion surprise, joy, vexation, sadness finds expression in va 
rieties of tone ; herein she equals or even surpasses the adult. On 
comparing her with animals, even those best endowed in this way 
such as the dog, parrot, singing-birds I find that, with a less-extended 
gamut of sounds, she far surpasses them in the fineness and the abun 
dance of her expressive intonations. Delicacy of impressions and deli- 


cacy of expressions are the distinctive characteristics of man as com 
pared with animals : here is the origin of language and of general 
ideas. Among animals-, man is, what some great and ingenious poet 
is among laborers and peasants : in a word, he is cognizant of a mul 
titude of shades and tints, even to a whole class of shades, which are 
unnoticed by them. This is further seen both in the kind and in the 
degree of man s curiosity. It is easily seen that, commencing with the 
fifth or sixth month, infants, during the succeeding two years or more, 
give all their time to making experiments in natural philosophy. There 
is no atiimal, not even the cat or the dog, which makes such continual 
study of all bodies within its reach. Every day, the infant of whom 
I speak (age twelve months) touches, feels, turns over, lets fall, tastes, 
and experiments upon, whatever comes under its hand ; whatever the 
object may be a ball, doll, rattle, toy once it is sufficiently known, 
the infant leaves it alone : it is no longer a novelty ; there is nothing 
more to be learned from it ; it no longer interests the child. This is 
simple curiosity ; the child s physical wants, its desire of food, have 
nothing to do with the matter. It would seem as though already in 
its little brain each group of perceptions tends to complete itself, as 
in the brain of a child that possesses language. 

She does not yet pronounce any word to which she attaches a 
meaning, but there are two or three words to which she attaches a 
meaning on hearing them uttered. She daily sees her grandfather, 
whose portrait, far less than life-size, but a very good likeness, has 
often been shown to her. During the past two months or so (from 
the age of ten months), when any one asked her the question, " Where 
is grandfather ? " she turns to the portrait and laughs at it. Before 
her grandmother s portrait, which is not so good a likeness, she 
makes no such gestures, nor does she give any token of knowing 
what it is. For a month past (from the age of eleven months), when 
ever she is asked, "Where is mamma?" she turns toward her 
mother. So, too, with her father. I would not go so far as to affirm 
that these three actions transcend animal intelligence. A little dog, 
who sits by my side, in like manner understands what is meant when 
lie hears the word sugar : he will come from a distance to get his 
morsel. In all this there is nothing but association : in the case of 
the dog, between a sound and a certain taste-sensation ; in that of 
the infant, between a sound and the shape of an individual face ; the 
object designated by the sound is not yet a general character. 

I believe, however, that now (age, twelve months) a step farther 
has been taken ; witness the following circumstance, which for me 
is decisive : This winter the child was daily taken to her grandmother s, 
and the latter very frequently showed her a copy, in colors, of a 
painting by Luini representing a nude Infant Jesus. On showing her 
this picture she was told that " this is baby." During the last eight 
days, whenever, in some other room, we ask her, Where is baby ? " 


(meaning herself), she turns toward any picture that may be there, 
whether it be a painting or an engraving. Hence "baby" signifies, 
for her, some general notion, whatever painfings and engravings of 
persons or landscapes may possess in common ; i. e., if I am not mis 
taken, " baby," in her mind, signifies something variegated in a shin 
ing frame. Indeed, it is plain that the objects painted or designed 
within the frames are so much Greek to her, while she must be deeply 
impressed by the glittering frame and the patches of color, light, and 
shade, within its border. Here, then, we have her first general term ; 
the meaning she gives it is not ours, but nevertheless it- is evidence 
of original work done by the infantile understanding. For, though 
we have supplied the word, we have not supplied the meaning. 

(Age, fourteen months and three weeks.) The gains of the last 
six weeks have been notable : besides the word " baby " she now un 
derstands several others, and of these she pronounces five or six, giving 
to each a meaning of its own. Mere prattle is succeeded by a begin 
ning of intentional and determinate language. The principal words 
pronounced by her now are papa, maman, tete (by which she means 
nurse) ; oua-oua (her term for dog), koko (hen, cock), dada (horse, 
wagon), mia (cat, kitten), kaka, and tern. She acquired earliest the 
two words papa and tern : this latter word is very curious, and well 
worthy of serious consideration. 

For fifteen days she pronounced papa without a purpose, without 
a meaning, as simple prattle, and as an easy and amusing exercise of 
articulation. Later came association between this name and the im 
age or perception ; and then the portrait or the person of her father 
brought to her lips the sound papa, and this same word, when pro 
nounced by another, awoke in her the memory, the mental image of 
her father. Between the two states just noticed there exists an insen 
sible transition, so that, at certain times, the first state still persists 
after the second state has been attained ; at times she still plays with 
a sound, though she understands its sense. This is very easily seen 
with respect to some of her later acquisitions, for instance the word 
kaka. This word she often repeats without purpose or intent, as 
prattle, much to the displeasure of her mother. Again, she fre 
quently utters the word purposely, when occasion offers. Further it 
is evident that, as in the case of the word " baby," she has extended 
the meaning of this term. Thus, for instance, on seeing in a flower 
bed the track of moistened earth left by a watering-pot, she repeated 
this word again and again with evident -appreciation of its meaning. 
.For her it signifies what wets. 

She shows great capacity for imitating sounds. She has seen and 
listened to fowls, and now repeats their koko far more accurately than 
we can do it, with the guttural intonation of the animals themselves. 
This is simply a faculty pertaining to the windpipe, but she possesses 
another faculty which is far more striking, a faculty that is par excel- 


knee human, namely, the power of noting analogies. This is the 
fountain-head of general ideas and of language. We point out to 
her on the walls of a room the figures of birds painted red and blue, 
a couple of inches in length, saying once only, " Look at the kokos." 
She was at once conscious of the resemblance, and for half a day she 
took the liveliest pleasure in being carried up and down along the 
walls of the room, enthusiastically crying out, at the sight of each 
bird, koko ! No dog, no parrot would ever act thus, and, in my opin 
ion, we have in this fact the essence of language. Other analogies 
she perceives with equal readiness. The first dog she ever saw was a 
little black one belonging to the house, who barks frequently ; from 
him she framed the word oua-oua. Very soon, with but slight as 
sistance from those around her, she applied this word to dogs of all 
sizes and of every breed that she saw in the street ; later she applied 
it to porcelain figures of dogs a still more noteworthy fact. Nay, 
on seeing, day before yesterday, a month-old kid, she called it oua- 
oua, thus naming it after the dog, which is the nearest form, rather 
than after the horse, which is too big, or the cat, which has a different 
gait. 1 Herein we perceive a trait characteristic of man : two very 
dissimilar successive perceptions leave a common residue, a distinct 
impression, solicitation, impulsion, which results in the invention or 
adoption of some mode of expression, either by gesture, cry, articula 
tion, or name. 

I come now to the word tern, one of the most noteworthy and one 
of the first pronounced by her. All the other words are probably 
attributives, to use the language of Max Mtiller, 8 and a person has no 
difficulty in discovering their meaning; this is probably a demon 
strative, and, as we had no term with which to translate it, we took 
several weeks to discover its meaning. 

At first, and for more than two weeks, the child pronounced this 
word tern as she did the word papa, without giving to it any precise 
meaning; she thus practised dental articulation followed by a labial, 
and the thing afforded her some amusement. By degrees the word 
became associated in her mind with a definite intention, and at pres 
ent it means for her give, take, see, look. She pronounces it very per 
fectly, several times in succession, and with earnestness, her aim be 
ing now to get some new object which she sees, again to have some 
one take her up, or to attract attention to herself. All these meanings 
are comprised in the word tern. It may be that it is a form of the 
word tiens, which had often been addressed to her in a somewhat 
similar sense. But I am rather inclined to suppose that this word was. 
coined by herself to express her principal desires, viz., to be taken in 

1 When the Romans first saw the elephant they called it the Lucanian ox. Thus, too, 
savage tribes that had never before seen a horse gave that animal the title of big hog. 
(See Miiller s " Lectures on Darwin s Philosophy of Language.") 

2 Lectures on the " Science of Language," sixth edition, vol. i., p. 809. 


the arms, to get the objects she wants, and to attract notice. If such 
is the case, then this word is a natural vocal gesture. This view is 
rendered more probable by the fact that she possesses other words, 
of which more anon, and which are evidently the products, not of 
imitation, but of invention. 

(Fifteenth to seventeenth month). Great progress made; the child 
has learned to walk, and even to run. She is gaining new ideas every 
day, and understands a number of phrases, such as these: "Fetch the 
ball ; " " Go and doudou to the lady" (i. e., fondle her and let her kiss 
you) ; " Come and stand between papa s legs ; " " Go down there ; " 
" Come here," etc. She is beginning to distinguish between the tone of 
anger and that of pleasure; she quits doing anything forbidden with 
severe countenance, or with voice expressive of disapproval ; of her own 
accord she frequently shows a desire of being fondled. But she has 
learned or invented but few new words recently. Her chief new 
words are Pa (Paul), Babert (Gilbert), bebe (baby), beee (nanny-goat), 
cola (chocolate), oua-oua (anything good to eat), ham (eating, I want 
to eat). There are a number of other words which she understands, 
but is unable to pronounce, such as grandfather, grandmother. Her 
vocal organs, not being sufficiently practised, do not as yet reproduce 
all the sounds she knows, and to which she attaches meanings. 

Cola (chocolate) was one of the iirst dainties she ever tasted, and 
she prefers it to all others. She gets a lozenge daily during her visits 
to her grandmother; she knows the box in which the bonbons are 
kept, and keeps pointing toward it until it is opened. 

Bebe. We have spoken of the curious meaning she at first gave 
to this word ; by degrees, under the influence of education, she has 
come nearer to its ordinary sense. Other infants have been shown to 
her, and called bebe; she herself has also been called by this name; 
now she answers to it. She has been shown the reflection of her ow r n 
face in a mirror, and told to look at bebe, and now she goes herself to 
the glass, and, on seeing the image, laughs and calls "bebef" Start 
ing from this, she gives the name of bebe to miniatures, pictures, and 
statuettes. Here again education has produced a result that had not 
been anticipated : the general character perceived by the child is not 
the one that we could have desired her to perceive. "We have taught 
her the sound, and she has invented the meaning. 

Ham (eating, I want to eat). Here she originated both the sound 
and the sense. This sound she first uttered during her fourteenth 
month. For weeks I took it to be mere prattle, but at last I noticed 
that it was uttered always, without exception, when food was in sight. 
Now she never fails to say ham whenever she is hungry or thirsty. 
This again is a natural vocal gesture. 

Oua-oua. It was not till three weeks ago (end of the sixteenth 
month) that she employed this word in the sense of something good 
to eat. For a while we did not understand what it meant, for the 


same sound had long been used by her, but always to signify dog. In 
this new meaning the sound has oscillated between va-va and oua-oua. 
In all probability the sound here written oua-oua is for her twofold, 
in accordance with the two different meanings she attaches to it. But 
my ear does not detect this difference. The senses of infants, which 
are less obtuse than ours, perceive delicate shades which we do not 
distinguish. It is worthy of mention that she strictly applies this 
term oua-oua to food and drink; the act of eating or drinking is ex 
pressed by am, or ham. Thus, when she hears the dinner-bell, she 
says am, not oua-oua / but at table, when seated before some article 
of food, she says oua-oua, and much less frequently am. 

On the other hand, the word tern (give, take, look), of which I 
have already made mention, has during the past two months fallen 
into desuetude. She never pronounces that word now, nor can I find 
that she has replaced it by any other. Doubtless the reason of this 
is, that we did not care to learn it : it answered to none of our ideas, 
inasmuch as it coupled three very distinct notions. 

On summing up the facts already stated we reach the following 
conclusions ; it remains for others to modify them by observing other 
infants : 

At first the infant cries, and employs its vocal organ in the same 
way as its limbs, spontaneously and after the manner of reflex action. 
Spontaneously, too, and because it finds pleasure in being active, the 
infant later exercises its vocal organs in the same way it exercises its 
limbs, gaining the perfect use of them by repeated essays and by a 
process of selection. From inarticulate it thus passes to articulate 
sounds. The variety of intonations which it acquires evinces in the 
child great delicacy of impression and of expression ; hence the fac 
ulty of forming general ideas. All we do is to aid it in grasping 
these ideas by suggesting our words. To these the infant attaches 
ideas of its own, generalizing after its own fashion rather than ours. 
Sometimes it invents not only the meaning of a word, but the word 
itself. Several vocabularies may succeed to one another in its mind, 
new words obliterating old ones ; several different significations may 
successively be attached to one word ; several words invented by 
itself are natural vocal gestures ; in short, it learns a ready-made 
language as a true musician learns counterpoint, or as a true poet 
learns prosody : the child is an original genius, which adapts itself to 
a form built up bit by bit by a succession of original geniuses. If there 
existed no language it would discover one, or find an equivalent. 

This series of observations was interrupted, owing to the misfor 
tunes of the year 1870. The following notes may serve to show the 
mental state of an infant : in many respects this state is that of 
primitive peoples in the poetical and mythological period 

A water-jet, which this infant saw daily for three months, always 
gave her new pleasure. The same is to be said of the flow of a river 


as seen from a bridge. The flashing, running water was plainly for 
her an object of extraordinary beauty, and she would keep exclaim 
ing, " Water, water " (age, twenty months). A little later (thirty 
months) she was profoundly impressed on seeing the moon. She 
wanted to look at it every night. When she walked abroad it seemed 
to her that the moon also was moving, and this discovery gave her de 
light ; as the moon made her appearance in different localities, accord 
ing to the hour, being seen at one time in front of the house, and again 
in the rear, she would exclaim, " Another moon ! another moon ! " 
One night (age, three years) she wanted to know where the moon 
was, and, on being told that it had. gone to bed, she asked, " Where, 
then, is the moon s nurse ? " All this very closely resembles the emo 
tions and conjectures of childlike races ; their profound wonderment 
in presence of the great phenomena of Nature ; the influence exerted 
upon them by analogy, language, and metaphor, leading them to form 
myths of the sun, the moon, etc. Suppose such a state of mind to be 
universal at any period, and we can readily foresee what religious 
ideas and legends would be the result ; in fact, we have instances of 
this process of development in the Vedas, the Edda, and even in 

If we speak to the child of an object at some little distance, but 
which she can represent to herself definitely enough, having seen the 
object itself or something like it, her first question always is : " What 
does it say ? What does the rabbit say ? What does the bird say ? 
What does the horse say ? What does the big tree say ? " Whether 
it be an animal or a tree, she always treats the object as a person ; 
wants to know what it thinks, what it says. By a spontaneous in 
duction, she pictures it as like herself or like us humanizes it. This 
same tendency is found among primitive races, and it is all the strong 
er the more primitive they are. 

It requires long time and many an effort for the infant to attain to 
ideas which to us appear simple. When this child s doll had its head 
broken she was told that now the doll was dead. One day her grand 
mother said to her : " I am old, and shall not remain long with you ; 
I shall die." " Your head will be broken, then." This she repeated 
several times. Even yet (age, three years and one month), to be dead 
means, for her, to have a broken head. Day before yesterday a mag 
pie that had been killed by the gardener was tied to the top of a pole 
for a scarecrow ; on being told that the pie was dead the child wished 
to see it. " What does the pie do ? " she asked. " She does noth 
ing ; she will never stir again, she is dead." " Oh ! " For the first 
time the idea of final immobility has entered her mind. Now let us 
suppose a people to stop at this idea, and to have no other definition 
of death than this. For them the Beyond will be the Sheol of the 
Hebrews the place where the motionless dead live a vague sort of 
life. For her yesterday means in the past, and. to-morrow means in 


the future; neither of these terms signifies for her just one day. 
Here, again, she gives too large a signification to words. And an in 
fant scarcely employs a single word that is not destined later to re 
ceive a more restricted meaning. Like primitive peoples, infants 
incline to conceive large and general ideas. The child presents, in 
the transitional state, mental characters which we find in the fixed 
state in primitive civilizations, just as the human embryo presents in 
the transitional state physical characters which are found in the fixed 
state in certain lower classes of animals. 



SPORTSMEN and naturalists, both at home and abroad, would do 
well to collect not only the skins of birds, but also to search 
for any peculiarity which may happen to occur in their internal 
structure, especially the bones and the larynx. 

Some weeks since, when calling upon my friend Mr. Jamrach, the 
animal-dealer, I observed in the back-yard, on the dust-heap, a num 
ber of dead birds. Among them was the body of a very large crane. 
Mr. Jamrach allowed me to take this home, and I made several prep 
arations of it. We now figure the very remarkable trachea, or wind 
pipe, of this bird. In an ordinary bird, such as a chicken, when cut 
ting open the skin of the throat, it will be found that the trachea forms 
a continuous tube, going in a direct line from the mouth to the lungs, 
where it bifurcates. In the crane this is not the case. Instead of 
passing between the two bones ordinarily known as the merry-thought, 
it becomes convoluted in a very remarkable manner. If this convolu 
tion had been placed immediately under the skin, first of all it would 
have been cumbersome to the bird; and, secondly, there would have 
been a great likelihood of ifrs becoming injured. The breastbone, 
therefore, has been hollowed out in the middle in such a manner as to 
keep the trachea packed up in a beautiful box of bone. Inside this 
box of bone there are about thirteen inches of the trachea. The 
trachea enters this bony box at its lowest margin ; it then runs along 
the bottom and ascends to the top ; then takes a very sharp turn, and 
again descending to the bottom of the box joins the lungs in the usual 
way. In life this trachea is not fixed in the box, but is capable of ex 
tension and prolongation ; in fact, is almost as elastic as India-rubber. 

The diagram will explain this. 

The curious cartilaginous-like material reminding us of mosaic 
work O f w hi cn the trachea is composed, differs much in pattern in its 
various portions, the rings being single near the mouth, while a few 

1 3 8 


inches farther they appear to be double. A model of them at this part 
of the tube can be obtained by locking the fingers of both hands one 
into the other. Just as the trachea leaves the bony box it is consider 
ably enlarged. 

T is the tongue, attached to the bifurcated hyoid bone; LA is the larynx; TE is the trachea 
immediately before it buries itself in the peculiar hollow box of bone, A. In this box, as 
already described, it becomes convoluted ; then, leaving the box, it enters the cavity of the 
chest, and joins the lungs at L. 

Of course, the use of this curious structure is to produce those 
wonderful sounds which are peculiar to the crane. In fact, it is a 
portion of a cornet-d-piston or trombone, and is, no doubt, worked by 
some very delicate muscles. I have never had the pleasure of seeing 
cranes fly in the air, but I am told that the noise they make is very 
wonderful. We read: "Cranes range, according to the season, from 
the north of Europe to the south of Asia, and north of Africa, and in 
the latter country they are said to extend their migrations as far as 
the Cape of Good Hope. On these excursions they fly high in the air, 
though they experience some difficulty in getting on the wing from 
the ground. Before taking their spring they run some paces, raise 
themselves a little at first, and then unfold a powerful and rapid wing. 
In the air they form very nearly an isosceles triangle, possibly for the 
purpose of cutting the element with greater facility. When attacked 


by an eagle, or the wind is likely to break their order, they close in 
circles. Their passage frequently takes place during the night, which 
is known by their sonorous voice, which announces it ; and the head 
of the troop often utters, to indicate the route he is taking, a cry of 
appeal to which all his followers answer. Their voices, even on these 
nocturnal voyages, are exceedingly loud probably owing to the 
length of the windpipe and the convolution near its bronchial ex 
tremity. When they cry during the day they are generally understood 
to forebode rain, as is the case with the cries of many other birds 
which feed partially on those worms which the approaching humidity 
brings to the surface not only when the rain actually falls, but when, 
from the changed state of the air, the evaporation is much diminished. 
When they are peculiarly noisy and tumultuous, and fly near the 
ground, occasionally alighting, it is considered as a pretty certain in 
dication of a tempest. On the other hand, when they rise high, and fly 
onward in regular order, it is regarded as a sign of fine weather." 

That great observer, Virgil, has used the simile of cranes in flight 
in a grand passage in the tenth "JEneid," to give an idea of the Greeks 
and Trojans charging each other in the battle-field : 

" . . . . Clamorem ad sidera tollunt 
Dardanidse e muris : spes addita suscitat iras : 
Tela maim jaciunt. Quales sub nubibus atris 
Stryraoniss dant signa grues atque sethera tranant 
Cum sonitu, fugiuntque Notes clamore secundo." 

[The Trojans, from their walls, raise acclamations to the stars. Ad 
ditional hope rouses up their fury. Darts from their hands they hurl, 
as under the black lowering clouds Strymonian cranes give the signal 
and swim along the skies with obstreperous din, and from the stormy 
south winds with joyous clamor fly.] 

I consider the marvelous natural trumpet of the crane to be a most 
beautiful provision given by the Creator to these wild birds to enable 
them to keep their ranks, and not lose each other when migrating. 
In fact, we men have adopted the idea by using trumpets. It often 
happens that the dust at a field-day is so great that very little can be 
seen, while it would be impossible for the human voice to be heard ; 
trumpets, therefore, come in here of the greatest service, especially to 
direct movements of cavalry. In the same way, the cranes might 
possibly lose each other when flying in the wilderness of space of the 
vast firmament of ether, and, were it not for their being able to signal 
to each other, they would be unable to travel with facility either at 
night, or when passing through clouds and fogs. 

A few days since a valued correspondent in Ireland sent us the 
breastbone of a Hooper swan. I have dissected this, and find the 
trachea convoluted in a manner very similar to that of the crane. 

There is a legend that when a swan is dying he becomes musical 


The origin of this legend probably is the trumpeting of the wild-swan. 
This our friends can hear in the Zoological Gardens ; it is a melancholy 
sound, and may be thus written " hwoo hwoo." The tame swan has 
not this structure of the windpipe, showing, therefore, that it is a 
distinct species. As the trumpet is useful to the crane, so also is it 
to the swan. They fly very high, in order that the " hawks should 
not gain the sky " of them ; they always fly with the wind, and when 
going with a stiff breeze are said to go at a pace of a hundred miles 
an hour. 

Many of our friends have probably heard that amusing bird, the 
trumpeter (Cariama cristata). Mr. Cholmondeley, of Condover, has 
a very tame specimen, that wanders all over his house, and goes out 
walking in the garden with him. In the trumpeter-bird there is a 
musical apparatus of another kind. The note of the trumpeter is very 
agreeable to the ear. 

I have lately dissected a Merganser. I find that his trachea is also 
peculiar: it swells out considerably about the third of its way down, 
and at the end it bulges out into a box as large as a walnut. The 
common duck has a curious larynx. At the bottom of the windpipe 
will be found a bony dilatation. Our readers should examine this for 
themselves. The female has not this peculiarity, and, strange to say, 
although the drake has this very peculiar organism, he is not able to 
quack the females only quack ; the males give a short hiss. My 
friend Mr. Bartlett informs me that on one occasion a gentleman sent 
him this bony box, which the cook had taken out, and said that it was 
the ossified heart of a duck. Land and Water. 



A LTHOUGH it has only lately acquired its present important 
-<LA_ place among articles of commerce, this valuable product of 
Nature s laboratory has been known for ages, and was used for me 
dicinal and illuminating purposes in ancient times. The petroleum- 
spring of Zante, one of the Ionian Islands, was mentioned by Herod 
otus more than 2,000 years ago ; and Pliny says that the oil of a 
spring at Agrigentum, Sicily, was used in lamps. The city of Genoa 
was formerly lighted from the wells of Amiano, in Parma, Italy. 

Prof. A. E. Foote (American Chemist, November, 1872) states that 

Peter Kalm, in his "Travels in North America," published in 1772, 

gives a map of the Pennsylvania oil-springs in 1771 ; but, according 

to H. E. Wrigley, the earliest mention of petroleum in that State 

1 Petroleum, literally rock-oil, frompetra, rock, and oleum, oil. 


occurred in the report of the commander of Fort Duquesne, 1750, 
when he witnessed the ceremonies of the Seneca Indians on Oil 
Creek. A prominent feature of the ceremonies was the burning of 
the oil as it oozed from the ground. 

The oil-spring of Cuba, Alleghany County, New York, called the 
Seneca Oil-Spring, was described by Prof. Silliman, in 1833, as a dirty 
pool, about eighteen feet in diameter, covered with a film of oil, which 
was skimmed off from time to time for medicinal purposes. The so- 
called Seneca-oil was not from this spring, but from Oil Creek. Hil- 
dreth,in 1833, gave an account of the salt-wells of the Little Kanawha 
Valley, West Virginia, which he says yielded a little oil. In 1840 a 
well at Burkesville, Kentucky, was described as spouting oil at the 
estimated rate of seventy-five gallons a minute for a few days, but it 
then failed entirely (Dana, " Mineralogy," fifth edition, 1869). In 
1844 Mr. Murray mentioned the petroleum of Enniskillen, Canada. 

About twenty years ago the manufacture of oil from coal and 
bituminous shales, having been widely extended through the labors 
of Abraham Gesner and James Young, of Glasgow, began to excite 
interest in this country, and, according to S. D. Hayes, the first coal- 
oil offered for sale in this country was made by Philbrick & Atwood, 
in 1852, at the works of the United States Chemical Manufacturing 
Company, Waltham, Massachusetts. It was called coup-oil, after the 
recent coup d etat of Louis Napoleon, and was used as a lubricator. 

In 1856 the first illuminating oil was made by Mr. Joshua Merrill, 
from Trinidad bitumen, according to the same authority. According 
to H. E. Wrigley, however, a refinery was started as early as 1850 
by Mr. Samuel Kier, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, for the treatment 
of crude petroleum (" Report on Petroleum of Pennsylvania " for the 
" Second Geological Survey of Pennsylvania, 1874"). Success being 
limited only by the small amount available, search for the oil was 
naturally directed to Oil Creek, and in 1858 Messrs. J. G. Eveleth 
and George H. Bissell, of New York City, leased one hundred acres 
of land near Titusville, on the northern border of Venango County, 
Pennsylvania, and engaged Colonel E. L. Drake, of New Haven, 
Connecticut, to bore a well. On the 28th of August, 1859, he struck 
oil at a depth of seventy-one feet (according to some authorities 
sixty-nine and a half feet), and a pump was adjusted which produced 
twenty-five barrels a day. 

In 1861 the first flowing well was struck by Mr. Funk, on the 
M Elhenny Farm, Oil Creek, at a depth of 400 feet. Soon after two 
more wells were sunk (the Phillips and Empire), flowing 3,000 bar 
rels each daily. Since 1858, in round numbers, 10,500 wells have been 
bored in Pennsylvania, and oil-wells also exist in West Virginia, 
Ohio, Kentucky, and elsewhere, with results that will be stated here 

It would not be proper to leave the history of petroleum without 


mentioning Prof. B. Silliman s report on Pennsylvania petroleum to 
Messrs. Eveleth, Bissell & Reed, 1855. 

He examined the rock-oil or petroleum of Venango County, and, 
long before the present processes of refining had been introduced, 
suggested several very important processes, which have been since 
followed in its treatment ; such as distillation by steam, " cracking," 
or breaking up of the heavier oils into lighter compounds, its use for 
making gas, for illuminating purposes, for lubricating, etc. 

COMPOSITION. Petroleum is a mixture of several hydrocarbons, 
and contains also bituminous materials, sulphur, carbonaceous mat 
ter, sand, and clay. Its odor is generally offensive. The color and 
specific gravity vary greatly. The crude petroleum of Pennsylvania 
is generally dark-green with a brownish tinge by reflected light ; the 
color of thin layers by transmitted light varies from dark-yellowish 
to reddish-brown. The oil of Enniskillen is blackish-brown ; of 
Mecca, Ohio, yellow ; in the neighborhood of Shamburg, Venango 
County, Pennsylvania, " black " and " green " oils occur side by side 
in the same districts ; the lubricating oil of White Oak, West Vir 
ginia, is yellow ; that from Amiano, Italy, is red to straw-color ; at 
Baku the light oil is clear and faint yellow. Pennsylvania petroleum 
is somewhat thick, like thin sirup, but, although stiffened somewhat 
by cold, is always fluid. The oil of Pagan, Burmah, is very light, 
resembling naphtha, as is some of that from Baku. 

The specific gravities of different petroleums are as follows : 
White Oak, West Virginia, 28 to 40 Beaume ; Mecca, Ohio, 26 to 
27 ; Franklin, Pennsylvania, 30 to 32 ; Cuba, New York, 32 ; Tidi- 
oute,43; Pit-Hole, 51 ; Pomeroy, Ohio, 51; Russia, 28 to 40. 
The heavy oils command, as a rule, a higher price. Although there 
is no certainty about their occurrence, the heavy oils have been fre 
quently found at a higher level than the light oils in Pennsylvania, 
so that this was at one time supposed to be the rule. 

The constituents of the mixture known as petroleum are separated 
from each other by fractional distillation ; with care they can be iso 
lated in quite a pure state, but in practice they undergo various de 
compositions, and are frequently to be regarded rather as products 
than as educts of the operations. Some are gaseous at ordinary 
temperatures, others are liquid, and others solid. They are divided 
into two classes : one having the formula C n H 2n -f 2 , and belonging to 
the marsh-gas, or paraffine series ; the other, with the formula C n II 2n , 
belonging to the ethylene series (olefines). They have been carefully 
investigated by Pelouze and Cahours, Warren, Schorlemmer, and 
Ronalds, and the results obtained by them are given in the following 
table, partly compiled from the review of the subject by Prof. S. P. 
Sadtler, in Prof. Genth s " Report on the Mineralogy of Pennsylvania" 
(" Second Geological Survey, 1874 "). The letters F, R, W, P and C, 
and S, indicate the observers, Fouque, Ronalds, Warren, Pelouze and 



Cahours, and Schorlemmer. The first and second were found by 
Fouque in gaseous exhalations from petroleum-wells at Petrolia (and 
Fredonia, New York) ; the third in similar exhalations from wells at 
Pioneer Run. 







Boi ling- 
Point (C.). 

Grav. (Oo C.). 



Methyl hydrid (methan). . 

H 4 



A gas. 




Ethyl hydrid (aethan) 

C 3 H 6 





Propyl hydrid (propan) . . . 





F. K. 


Butyl h. "(normal butan). . 

C 4 H 10 












Amyl h. (normal peutan) . 

C 5 H 12 







Hexyl h. (normal hexan). . 

C 6 H 14 



61 3 

.626 (17<>) 

P. & C., W., 9 



Heptyl h. (normal septan). 

C 7 H 16 



9S .l 


W., 3. 






Octyl h. (normal octan). . . 

C 8 H 18 





., O. 



An isomer of No. 12 



W., P. & C. 


Nonyl hydrid (nonan) .... 

C 9 H 20 






Pelouze and Cahours carry the marsh-gas series to C 15 H 32 , but 
Warren concluded that it terminates with C fl H 20 , and that the oils of 
higher density and atomic numbers belong to the ethylene series. 

On inspecting the above table it will be seen that numbers 4, 7, 9, 
11, 13, and 14, have a common difference of about 30 C. between each 
in succession, in regard to their boiling-points ; and that numbers 
6, 8, 10, and 12, have a similar common difference, and are each about 
8 higher in their boiling-points than the ones next below them. On 
this account, Warren divided them into two groups ; but he included 
here another C 4 H 10 , with a boiling-point of 8 to 9, which is, according 
to Sadtler, a mixture of the two given in the table. 

Besides the members of the marsh-gas series given above, Ameri 
can petroleum yields liquids boiling above 300 C., which on cooling 
yield a solid mass called paraffine, white and transparent when pure. 
It probably is a mixture of the higher members of the series C n H 2n+2 , 
and on heating in a sealed tube is converted into a mixture of several 
paraffines and olefines of lower molecular weight, liquid at ordinary 
temperatures (Fownes). 

Of the ethylene series, Warren has found in Pennsylvania petro 
leum, decylene, C 10 H 20 , boiling-point 174.9 ; undecylene, C n H aa , boil 
ing-point 195.8; and bidecylene, C 12 H 24 , boiling-point 216.2; these 
have a difference of about 20 C. in their successive boiling-points. 

No higher series of hydrocarbons is yet known from Pennsylva 
nia petroleum, bat members of the benzol series, C n H 2n _ 6 , have been 
found in other petroleums. Thus De la Rue and Mtiller, in 185C, 
found benzol, toluol, and xylol, in Rangoon tar ; Bussenius and Eisen- 
stuck discovered xylol in petroleum from Sehnde, Hanover; Pebal 
and Freund detected benzol, C 6 H 6 , toluol, C 7 H 8 , xylol, C 8 H 10 , cumol, 
C 9 H 12 , and cymol, C ]0 H 14 , in naphtha from Boroslaw, Galicia; De .la 
1 Not yet obtained in a pure state. 


Rue and Milller found naphthaline, C 10 H 8 , in Rangoon tar ; and, finai 
ly, a member of the anthracene series, C n H 2n _ 18 , has been found in the 
last products of the distillation of petroleum for paraffine-oil. It is 
probably formed by destructive distillation of the petroleum, and has 
been called thallene or viridine by Prof. H. Morton, who investigated 
especially its fluorescent character. 

Petroleum undergoes alteration by evaporation of its lighter con 
stituents, leaving viscid or solid bitumen, containing more or less 
paraffine ; by oxidation of some hydrogen, giving rise to ethylenes, 
benzols, or naphthalenes ; and, by the additional absorption of oxygen, 
forming true asphaltum. Of this latter class are the grahamite of 
West Virginia and the albertite of Nova Scotia. The grahamite I 
believe to have been altered before reaching its present level, for rea 
sons which cannot be given here. Mr. W. P. Jenney has made some 
interesting experiments on the oxygenation of petroleum and the for 
mation of artificial oxygenated hydrocarbons resembling natural 
products (American Chemist, April, 1875). 

OCCURRENCE OF PETKOLEUM. It occurs in rocks of nearly all ages, 
from the Lower Silurian up; most abundantly in shales and sand 
stones ; also to some extent in limestones. Sometimes it impreg 
nates the whole stratum ; sometimes it collects in subterranean cavi 
ties and fissures. In the Rangoon and Caspian regions the oil oc 
curs near the surface in clayey soil, and collects in shallow pits. A 
noted foreign locality is Ye-nan-gyoung, in Burmah, where the wells 
are narrow shafts, 180 to 300 feet deep, and large enough for a 
man to work in. The oil is drawn up with a bucket and windlass, 
and as many as 1,000,000 barrels are annually obtained. In Persia 
oil is largely found at Baku, on the west shore of the Caspian ; China 
yields a small amount of oil; Japan has small and undeveloped 
districts ; New Zealand, also, shows indications. In the Caucasus, 
Russia, surface-wells have long been worked, and lately wells have 
been sunk with great success. In Galicia, Austria, are wells yielding 
largely ; arid Alsace and Hanover have produced some oil. Petro 
leum has likewise been found in Peru, Ecuador, Southern Mexico, San 
Domingo, Trinidad, and Nova Scotia, in small quantities. 

The petroleum district of Canada West is in Lambton, Bothwell, 
and Kent Counties (H. E. Wrigley), and in Ontario. The average 
production is not over 2,500 barrels daily. It occurs mainly in the 
Corniferous limestone of the Lower Devonian, but is also found in 
greater or less quantity in the Bird s-eye limestone of the Lower Si 
lurian, and the Lower Helderberg limestone of the Upper Silurian. 
The cavities of Orthocerata in the Trenton limestone (Lower Silu 
rian) at Pakenham, Canada, frequently hold small quantities of petro 
leum. In Canada East there is a petroleum district on the St. John s 
River, not far from Gaspe" Bay. 

In the United States oil is very abundant in Western Pennsylva- 


nia, and has been found in considerable quantity in West Virginia, 
Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. It has also been found, but in small 
quantities, in Xew York State, near Chicago, in Michigan, Indiana, 
Colorado, and California. The oil of Southern California comes from 
Tertiary shales, and is said to contain no paraffine. 

The Upper Oil-Region of Pennsylvania begins in the vicinity of 
Tidioute, on the Alleghany, in Warren County, and runs southwest 
to Titusville, thence nearly south, along Oil Creek, into Yenango 
County to Oil City, and thence southwest to Franklin. East Sandy, 
on East Sandy Creek, is at the extreme southeast edge of this field, 
and forms the only connecting link between the upper and lower oil 
fields of the State. The principal points in this upper region are Tidi 
oute, Triumph, and Economy, in the Tidioute District ; West Hick 
ory, New London ; the Titusville District, including the Drake well ; 
Church Run, Pit-Hole, Shamburg, Petroleum Centre, Rouseville (be 
tween these two places were the Blood well, of 1,000 barrels daily, 
and the Phillips well, which once flowed 3,940 barrels in twenty-four 
hours, and has produced over 500,000 barrels), Oil City, Sage Run, 
and Franklin. The Valley of Oil Creek, within a length of twenty 
miles, produced over $110,000,000 worth of oil, from an actual area 
of less than three square miles. 

The Lower Oil Belt begins at Triangle City, Beaver Creek, Clarion 
County, and runs southwest twenty-one miles to St. Joe, in Butler 
County, and is the greatest producing area so far found (II. E. Wrig- 
ley, op. cit.}. In 1866 rock with some oil was struck at Brady s 
Bend at a depth of 1,100 feet, giving rise to further investigation of 
the river above, which resulted in the discovery of a sand-rock of 
57 feet thickness, at a depth of 960 feet, on the Alleghany River at 
Parker s Landing. A number of wells that had been supposed fail 
ures were afterward drilled to the proper depth, with great results. 

The oil-bearing rock of Pennsylvania is a sand-rock, of which dif 
ferent strata are struck at different depths. 

The operators speak of these as the first sand, second sand, and 
so on. After going through loose soil and a shale or slate-rock, the 
first sand is struck generally near the surface in the upper oil-regions 
(at a depth of 71 feet in the case of the first well sunk, the Drake 
well) ; 100 to 200 feet below this is the second sand ; at 300 to 400 
feet more the third sand, and then a fourth and fifth sand at inter 
vals of about 150 feet. These sand-rocks are generally light-col 
ored, and are separated by slate and other dark sand-rocks. 

The heavy oil of Franklin comes from a sand-rock 260 feet deep, 
and from 50 to 80 feet in thickness. The tower sand-rocks are said 
to produce very bright, pure oils. Only 39.5 square miles of the 
3,115 miles of the oil-region of Pennsylvania are actually productive. 

The West Virginia oil-wells occur along an anticlinal extending 
from the borders of Southern Ohio through Wood, Wirt, and Ritchie 

VOL. IX. 10 


Counties, between thirty-live and forty miles. No oil is found in the 
horizontal rocks, but it occurs along the disturbed and broken, tilted 
strata on the edges of the line of uplift. This same belt runs north 
into Ohio, through Washington and Morgan Counties into Noble 
County. Volcano, White Oak, and Burning Springs are the principal 
points in West Virginia. The oil is found in subcarboniferous rocks, 
ascending to them, from the underlying Devonian. 

In Ohio there is another oil-belt, west of the above, beginning in 
Perry and Morgan Counties on the north, and running south through 
Athens into Meigs County; and in Cuyahoga and Trumbull Counties 
are oil-regions closely related to those of Western Pennsylvania. The 
" Mecca " oil, a valuable lubricating oil, occurs in the Mecca Oil Rocks 
(Berea grit and Bedford shales) of Trumbull County, Ohio. The total 
production of Ohio and West Virginia is not over 500 barrels daily 

The Kentucky oil-district is mainly in Barren and Cumberland 
Counties, with a small adjoining tract south of it in Overton County, 
Tennessee. A well in Cumberland County, 191 feet deep, produced 
300 barrels daily. The abundant supply from Pennsylvania and the 
difficulty of transportation have prevented these regions from becom 
ing well known. 

ORIGIN AND SOURCE OP PETROLEUM. At first it was held by many 
that petroleum was a result of distillation from the bituminous coals, 
which were found in its vicinity, and this belief was strengthened by 
the fact that some of the very bituminous coals, such as Cannel and 
Boghead coal, afforded large quantities of similar oils on being dis 
tilled; but, although this is very probably the source of a small 
amount of oil, yet the larger part of it is now believed to derive its 
origin from rocks lying below the coal-measures, since the oil-bearing 
rocks are mostly older than the carboniferous formations. 

Some investigators have ascribed a vegetable origin to petroleum, 
but most authorities agree in attributing it to animal as well as vege 
table agencies. Shales are the most common oil-bearing rocks, and in 
their formation the organic materials would be finely divided and 
protected from oxidation. The oil-bearing shales commonly show 
few vegetable remains, and Dana observes that the absence of distinct 
fossil animal and vegetable remains points to an abundance of delicate 
water-plants or infusorial or microscopic vegetable life as the source 
of the organic material contained in them. Limestones, on the other 
hand, are frequently full of animal fossil remains, showing an animal 
origin for the oil in them, although it is by no means agreed that the 
petroleum in certain limestones was derived from organic remains in 
the limestones and not from other strata below them. In whatever 
shape the finely-divided material was originally present, it would be 
finely diffused through the mud, and protected from atmospheric agen- 
,cies, and subsequently the hydrocarbons would be formed from them, 


probably at but a slight elevation of temperature, produced by the 
same agencies which have caused elevations in the temperature of the 
interior of the earth s crust at various points. 

Dana has further pointed out how petroleum might be formed by 
the reactions of the organic vegetable remains alone, the abstrac 
tion of some carbon and oxygen, as carbonic acid, accounting for the 
formation of the lighter oils ; while the escape of some marsh-gas from 
less confined material would account for the heavier oils. 

Newberry attributes the disagreeable smell of some limestone-oil 
to its animal origin, and Dufrenoy alludes to the abundance of fish 
fossils as a proof that the oil of various European districts was derived 
from animal remains. 

As regards the circumstances favoring the accumulation of petro 
leum, it appears that there should be a shale or other fine-grained 
rock forming to protect the organic matter during its deposition, a 
porous stratum above to be penetrated by the hydrocarbons resulting 
from the decomposition of the organic matter, and finally another 
shale or slate above, to prevent the further escape of the volatile prod 
ucts. If the sand-rock which usually forms the porous stratum is 
filled with fissures, large quantities of oil may collect in these. 

The petroleum of Enniskillen, Canada, is ascribed by Hunt to the 
Corniferous limestone of the Lower Devonian. Many geologists as 
cribe the oil of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and the rest of 
this grand oil area, to the black shale or Genesee slate of the Middle 
Devonian. Dr. J. S. Newberry, in his " Report of the Geological 
Survey of Ohio," says of the Huron (black) shale of the Middle Devo 
nian in Ohio, that it is bituminous, and contains sheets of asphalt or 
asphaltic coal. Oil and gas springs are associated with its outcrop, 
and there is reason to believe that it supplies the wells of Oil Creek, 
Pennsylvania. Hydrocarbons are the product of spontaneous distilla 
tion in the outcrops of the Huron shale in Ohio. It shows traces of 
marine vegetation, and represents the Gardeau shale of New York, 
with whatever there is in Ohio of the underlying Genesee slate. Its 
materials appear to have accumulated in a quiet water-basin, being 
marine and not terrestrial vegetation. It forms a vast repository of 
hydrocarbonaceous matter, yielding ten to twenty gallons of oil per 
ton by distillation. 

A line of oil and gas springs marks its outcrop, from Central New 
York to Tennessee. Emanations of oil and gas occurring from Lower 
Silurian rocks at Collingwood,. Canada, and on the Upper Cumberland 
River, Kentucky, are associated with similar deposits of black shale 
representing the Utica shale (Lower Silurian) of New York. The 
wells of Oil Creek penetrate strata immediately overlying the Huron 
shale, and the oil is obtained from fissured and porous sheets of sand 
stone of the Portage and Chemung groups, which lie just over the 
Huron and offer convenient reservoirs for the oil it furnishes. It is a 


well-known fact that wells sunk into the black shale yield no consider 
able quantity of oil, unless from strata resting upon it. 

The foregoing statements, it will be seen, go to substantiate the 
theory upheld by Newberry, in common with other geologists, that 
the strata yielding much oil have only served to store the oil which 
comes from other strata below. T. S. Hunt holds that the petroleum 
of the limestone of Ontario, Canada, and other localities is largely the 
result of decomposition of the organic matters in these same rocks, and 
not of distillation from below. This view Newberry opposes on the 
following grounds : The Corniferous limestone, from his very extended 
observations, contains little hydrocarbons ; oil and gas springs are 
rare where it underlies the surface ; no considerable quantity of petro 
leum has been derived from wells in the Corniferous, Niagara, or any 
other limestone ; even at Chicago there are no paying wells. Borings 
have been unsuccessful in Ohio wherever the Corniferous is the surface 
rock ; and, further, there is no Corniferous limestone where Hunt cites 
it in Kentucky. There is positive proof that part of the oil comes 
from a lower horizon, and probably the Canada oil comes from under 
lying Silurian Collingwood shale. On Oil Creek are the argillaceous 
shales of the Waverley and Chemung strata, forming the sides and 
bottom of the valley, and below are several beds of sandstone, with 
the black shales of the Portage and Genesee still lower. In Ohio 
these favorable conditions are wanting ; the sand-rocks of Oil Creek 
thin out and give place to fine, impervious, argillaceous shales; the 
strata become more homogeneous and free from crevices, and hence 
the oil cannot penetrate them so well. In Cuyahoga County, Ohio, 
the wells reach down through carboniferous recks to the Huron shale, 
but there are no good wells, because the sandstone reservoirs are lack 
ing, and only close-grained shales are present. 

Hunt, on the other hand, holds that the petroleum of Southwest 
Ontario, and probably in other localities, is to be sought in the olifer- 
ous limestones of the Corniferous and Niagara formations, both of 
which abound in indigenous petroleum (American Journal of Sci 
ence, III., ii., 369), which, in the case of the Ontario limestone, he 
shows cannot have come from overlying strata. He also mentions a 
well sunk at Terre Haute, Indiana, 1,900 feet deep, which yields two 
barrels of oil daily ; and a second one, very near, which yields 25 
barrels. This one is 1,625 feet deep, and passes through 700 feet of 
coal-measures, 700 feet of carboniferous limestone, with underlying 
sandstone and shales, 50 feet of Genesee slate (or its equivalent), and 
at a depth of 25 feet below this the oil-vein was met with in Cornif 
erous limestone. A third well, a mile east, at a depth of 2,000 feet 
showed no oil. 

The truth seems to be, that these limestones may contain a little 
petroleum indigenous to them, but they have not furnished the grand 
supplies of very produotive regions. Before leaving this part of the 



subject, mention should be made of the gas which so generally accom 
panies the oil. It is often met with in the oil-regions when no oil is 
struck, producing "gas-wells;" and is also met with where no oil, or 
very little, is found, on the borders of the oil-districts. Many private 
residences and manufacturing establishments are heated and lighted 
by this gas ; Fredonia, New York, has been lighted with it for years. 
The Newton gas-well, five miles south of Titusville, Pennsylvania, is 
786 feet deep, and yielded 4,000,000 cubic feet per day, supplying 
light and fuel to a great number of dwellings and manufactories in 
Titusville. A rolling-mill near Pittsburg is run by gas brought 
from Butler County, a distance of about nineteen miles, and when it 
is not needed the gas is lighted, furnishing a jet of flame seventy feet 
high, which, with another jet from a neighboring mill, furnishes a 
grand spectacle at night. 

This gas is the cause of spouting-vvells. If a well is sunk into the 
top of a fissure containing oil and gas, the gas will first escape, and 
then the oil must be pumped out ; but, if the well strikes in the oil, 
the pressure of the gas would first drive out the oil. If water also 
was present and the well struck the bottom of the fissure the heavier 
water would first escape, then the oil, and then the gas. Such a well, 
after standing a while would again yield oil on pumping, then perhaps 
water only, or water and oil, until it had had another rest. If the 
supply of gas is kept up by an open crevice, the well may continue to 
flow for some time. The pressure of neighboring water may also 
cause the oil to flow from a well. Generally the pumping-wells are 
pretty constant, although when a number of wells are bored near 
together they interfere with each other, and sometimes water poured 
down one well will appear in another, and this method has been 
pursued to bring rival well-owners to terms. 

A few words may here be said about drilling wells and transport 
ing the oil. The wells are drilled by means of drilling-tools like 
those used in sinking artesian wells, which are suspended by a cable, 
and operated by small steam-engines. The well is lined with wrought- 
iron tubing, screwed together in sections, and, to prevent water from 
flowing down the outside of the lining into the well, a water-packer is 
used, which is essentially a circular piece of leather with the edges 
cut and turned upward, so that the whole forms a cup about the tube, 
which is pressed tightly against the sides of the well by the weight 
of the column of water. It is much better than the old flaxseed bag. 
The oil is conveyed from the oil-district to the refineries and shipping- 
stations by means of wrought-iron pipes, two to four inches in diam 
eter, which form a network throughout the entire country, and have 
an aggregate length of nearly 2,000 miles. One company carries the 
oil thirty-seven miles, in this way, from Butler County to the vicinity 
of Pittsburg. 

REFINING AND USES OF PETROLEUM. Crude petroleum contains 


gases and volatile liquids giving off at ordinary temperatures gases, 
which form explosive mixtures with air; heavy oils, which injure its 
burning properties, but are useful as furnishing lubricators and paraf- 
fine ; tarry and carbonaceous matters ; sulphur and other compounds, 
which give an offensive odor when burned. It is therefore refined by 
distillation, to separate the useful products in a pure state. The general 
features of the process will be best illustrated by a practical example, 
and for this purpose we have selected the well-known refinery of 
Charles Pratt & Co., at Greenpoint, Long Island, manufacturers of 
Pratt s Astral Oil. This establishment has a capacity of 15,000 
barrels weekly. 

The crude oil, coming mostly from Pennsylvania, with a specific 
gravity of 46 to 48 Beaume, is run into horizontal cylindrical stills 
of wrought-iron, heated by anthracite fires. Eight of these stills have 
a capacity of 600 barrels each, and there are eight smaller ones. 
From these stills pipes lead to large worms, cooled by running 
water, and connected with a series of small tanks, so that the prod 
ucts from each still can be separately collected, and the successive 
portions that come from the still can be kept apart, according to their 
specific gravity. 

At about 160 Fahr. (70 C.) the gases begin to come off abun 
dantly, and these are conducted from the lower end of the worms to 
heat the steam-boilers. At about 225 Fahr. (107 C.) gasoline, hav 
ing a specific gravity of 85 B., begins to run from the worm ; after 
an hour and a half, at a temperature of 325 Fahr. (163 C.) naphtha 
begins to run, with a density of 74 B., and continues for about three 
hours; at 350-400 Fahr. (177-200 C.) benzine, with a density of 
62 B., begins and runs about one hour. For the remainder of the 
heat, about thirty hours, illuminating oil is collected, with a density 
of 48-50 B., and ending with a temperature of 750 Fahr. (398 C.). 
The residuum, having a density of 20 B., is drawn off and shipped in 
barrels to the paraffine and lubricating oil-works. Steam is then run 
into the still for nearly two hours to remove the gas, the man-hole is 
opened, and the coke scraped off to be used for fuel. 

The results of this operation are about as follows : 

Gasoline 3 per cent. 

Naphtha 10 " u 

Benzine 3 " " 

Illuminating oil 75 " " 

Residuum. 4 " " 

Coke and loss 5 " " 

Total 100 

The residuum yields by subsequent treatment paraffine to the 
amount of about one per cent, of the crude petroleum. 

The illuminating oil comes from the worm at a temperature of 


about 80 Fahr. (49 C.) and is pumped from the receiving-tank into 
the agitator, an immense cylindrical tank of boiler-iron, holding 1,800 
barrels (a smaller one holds 500), where it is cooled (if necessary) to 
60 Fahr. by water run in at the top by sprinkling from a hose, and 
drawn off below. Forty-four gallons of strong commercial sulphuric 
acid being added for every 100 barrels of oil, the mixture is agitated 
by air pumped in through a pipe leading down through the oil to the 
bottom. This is done by an engine, and produces a very thorough mixt 
ure, during which the temperature rises, and when it reaches 70 Fahr. 
(21 C.) the operation is ended. Water is then played upon the top 
for about three hours, when caustic-soda lye of 20 B. is added, in the 
proportion of 500 gallons to 1,800 barrels of oil, thoroughly agitated 
with the oil, and then drawn off at the bottom after settling. The 
sulphuric acid purifies the oil partly by combining with, partly by 
breaking up, the injurious compounds, and the soda is added to neu 
tralize the acid. Finally, the oil is again washed with water and 
drawn off into bleaching-pans, of which one has a capacity of 2,000 
barrels, and two others of 750 each. Here the oil is left under a roof 
and exposed to diffused daylight four or five hours, to improve its 
color, and is then removed to the storage-tanks. It is possible to 
expose the oil too long in the bleachers, injuring its color. It is a 
curious fact, noticed in several refineries, that the oil, after removal 
to the agitator and before treatment with the acid, sometimes gives 
off spontaneously inflammable gas, which has been known to take fire 
during the cooling with water. 

The gasolene is used for making gas. The naphtha and benzine 
destined for the market are kept separate, but sometimes they are 
further treated at the refinery, and are then run together, and sent to 
the naphtha-works with a density of 68 to 70 B. Here they are 
treated in iron stills of 200 to 600 barrels capacity, heated by coal. 
The vapors are condensed in a series of three worms, and the opera 
tion is so managed that the various products are obtained of the re 
quired density. These products are gasolene, of 90 (sometimes 97), 
88, and 86 B. ; naphtha, of 76 and 71; benzine, of 65 and 62. 
Most of the benzine shipped is of the latter density. The barrels 
used for shipping all of these products are coated inside with glue. 

The residuum is either " cracked " in special stills (a process of 
which we shall have more to say hereafter) or it is sold to be worked 
up for lubricating oils and paraffine. 

Mr. Joshua Merrill, manufacturing chemist of the Downer Kero 
sene Oil Company, has made several very important discoveries in the 
treatment of petroleum, and a short account of them has been given in 
a " Memoir on Petroleum Products," communicated to the Society of 
Arts, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, by S. D. Hayes, March 
14, 1872, from which some facts are here selected : 

Neutral lubricating oil, free from offensive odors and tastes, was 


partly the result of an accident. The condenser of a still heated by 
direct fire and charged with 900 gallons of mixed heavy and light 
oils, became partially closed, and the pressure caused leakage at the 
bottom of the still. The fire was very gradually drawn, after 250 
gallons of light oil had passed oft* The next day the oil in the still 
was found to be light-yellow, nearly odorless, neutral, and dense ; 
the light, odorous hydrocarbons having been removed, at this low 
temperature, without decomposing either the distillate or the oil in 
the still. Further experiments perfected the process, which is greatly 
aided by the admission of steam from an open pipe into the body of 
the still during distillation. 

Mineral sperm-oil was the result of experiments by Messrs. J. and 
R. S. Merrill on burning heavy lubricating oil and paraffine in lamps, 
especially constructed for the purpose. The light was very r good, but 
the liquid was too thick to ascend into the wick. To obviate this 
the oil was subjected to a partially destructive distillation, " crack 
ing " it enough to render it mobile, but not volatile. 

The manner in which the crude petroleum is treated to obtain 
these various products is briefly outlined here from Prof. Hayes s 
sketch : The crude oil is heated by steam in upright, wrought-iron 
cylinders, incased in wood, of 12,000 gallons capacity. About 15 
per cent, of distillate passes off and is condensed in pipes surrounded 
by water, yielding gasolene and A, B, and C naphthas, which are 
separately collected. From the gasolene rhigolene can be obtained 
by a second distillation w r ith steam-heat, condensing the first portions 
of the distillate by ice and salt; ten per cent, is obtained from the 
gasolene. The steamed oil is pumped from the naphtha-stills into 
small stills, holding 1,000 gallons each, and heated by direct fires. 
Only carbon remains in these stills, some uncondensable gas escapes, 
and the other products are : No. 1, crude illuminating oil ; No. 2, in 
termediate oils; No. 3, crude lubricating oil. Each of these is redis 
tilled in the same sort of still. No. 1 is agitated with sulphuric acid, 
then w r ith caustic soda, and distilled, yielding 80 per cent, of its 
volume of finished kerosene (refined illuminating oil) and mineral 
sperm-oil, and nearly 20 per cent, of denser oil. No. 2 is at once 
redistilled, yielding chiefly crude lubricating oil. No. 3 is agitated 
with sulphuric acid and then distilled with caustic soda in the still, 
yielding mainly dense paraifine-oil. This is kept in wooden barrels in 
ice-houses from seven to ten days, and deposits crystalline parafline, 
which is pressed in strong cloth bags, one above another, with sheet- 
iron between, and yields crude paraftine-wax and heavy oil. The 
paraffine is repeatedly recrystallized from solution in naphtha and 
pressed, until it is white and pure enough for sale. The heavy oil is 
heated in stills by direct fires, slowly increased, but kept as low 
as possible, and generally with the admission of steam, until 20 
to 30 per cent, has passed over. The residue is ready for sale, 


having only a slight odor like that of fat-oils, while the hydrocarbons 
that are condensed after passing over have a very offensive odor. 
The very last distillates from all of the destructive distillations are 
called " cokings," and are distilled by themselves, yielding mainly 
crude lubricating oil. The carbon separated in the stills contains 
some caustic soda, which can be obtained as carbonate by burning 
the carbon and lixiviating the ashes. The sulphuric acid used in 
agitating the oils is known as " sludge," and is sometimes sold to the 
makers of superphosphate of lime, although it has been occasionally 
successfully reconverted into oil of vitriol. The following list in 
cludes ,the commercial products which have been made from petro 
leum, being those already mentioned, with the exception of cymo- 
gene, which is distilled from gasolene, and condensed by a pump : 

1. Cymogene, specific gravity 110 Beaunie ; boils at 32 F. (0 C.) ; 
used in ice-machines. 2. Rhigolene, sp. gr. 100 B. ; boils at 65 F. 
(18.3 C.) ; extremely volatile, producing by its rapid evaporation a 
temperature of 19 F. ; used as a local anesthetic. 3. Gasolene, 
sp. gr. 97, 90, 88, and 86 B., as required by the market. The very 
light gasolene is ordered in small quantities, probably for ice-machines. 
The others are used in gas-machines, for which they are admirably 
adapted, and for various exceedingly dangerous lamps and stoves 
designed for their combustion. 4. Naphtha, sp. g. 70 to 76 B. ; 
boils at 180 F. (27 C.), when of 70 gravity; used in manufacture of 
oil-cloths, cleansing, as a solvent for paraffine, etc. ; sometimes fraudu 
lently mixed with the higher-priced illuminating oils, or with crude 
petroleum, to be again sold to the refiner ; also sold, under various 
names, as a burning-fluid, notwithstanding the certain danger attend 
ing its use. 5. Benzine, sp. gr. 65 to 62 B. ; the boiling-point for 
65 B. is 300 F. (149 C.) ; used in making paints and varnishes. 9. 
Illuminating oil (kerosene), sp. gr. 45 to 50 B. ; boiling-point for 
45 B. is 350 F. (177 C.). " Astral " oil and " mineral sperm " are 
particularly safe varieties, freed with care from explosive compounds. 
7. Lubricating oil. ;< Neutral " lubricating oil has a specific gravity 
of 29 B., and boils at 575 F. (301.5 C.). 8. Paraffine, sp. gr. 0.87 ; 
fusing-point for commercial paraffine about 110 to 150 F. (43.3 to 
65 C.), according to its purity ; boiling-point about 698 F. (370 C.) ; 
used for making water-proof fabrics, candles, lubricators, matches, 
chewing-gum, etc. 

The refined illuminating oil should be free from more volatile 
compounds, which cause it to give off vapors that explode when 
mixed with air and ignited. Dr. White, President of the New Orleans 
Board of Health, found that, on adding to oil which " flashed " at 
113 F. one per cent, of naphtha, the mixture flashed at 103 ; with 
two per cent, at 92 ; with five per cent, at 83 ; with 20 per cent, the 
oil itself burned at 50 ("Report on Petroleum to New York Board 
of Health," Dr. C. F. Chandler, 1871). Dr. Chandler has found that 


the temperature of the oil in an ordinary glass oil-lamp ranges from 
76 to 98 F., and in a metal lamp from 76 to 129 F., the lower limits 
being for rooms heated between 73 and 74 F., and the higher for a 
temperature of 90 to 92. It is, therefore, evident that an oil giving 
off explosive gases at less than 100 F. must be dangerous, and even 
at 110 F. an accident might occur, but only in exceptional circum 

The oils must, therefore, stand a certain test, called the " flashing 
test," which consists in heating them, preferably, in a thin metal or 
glass cup which holds the oil, and is itself placed in another vessel full 
of cold water, which is gradually heated by a small spirit-lamp. The 
bulb of a thermometer is kept well immersed beneath the surface of the 
oil, draughts are to be avoided, and the heat very slowly raised. From 
time to time, as the flashing-point is approached, the temperature is 
noted, and a very small flame, as a gas-jet issuing from a glass tube 
drawn to a fine point, is quickly passed across its surface, taking care 
not to touch the oil. A faint blue flame will flash across the oil when 
it reaches a temperature at which explosive gases are given off. Al 
though it is generally agreed that the temperature should be very 
gradually raised, fifteen minutes being allowed for a test, yet Calvert 
(Chemical News, May, 1870) states that an oil which flashed at 90 
F., after fifteen minutes, showed a flashing-point of 101, when thirty 
minutes were consumed in making the test. Oil of 100 is not safe 
absolutely. There is another test called the burning-test, the point at 
which an oil will take fire and burn ; it is from 10 to 50 F. above the 
flashing-test (Chandler), and is of little value in determining the safety 
of an oil, because, as already shown, the addition of one per cent, of 
naphtha will lower the flashing-test 10 in a good oil, while it would 
not materially affect the burning-point. From the directions already 
given for testing oil any one can readily make the test, and in view 
of the large number of unsafe oils sold it is very important that such 
tests should be made before using an oil not known to be safe. 

The subject of refining petroleum may be dismissed with a few 
words more about " cracking " oils. It is the object of the refiner to 
make as much illuminating oil as possible, and to do this advantage 
is taken of the fact that, when the vapors of heavy oils are heated 
above their boiling-points, carbon is deposited, and the condensed 
hydrocarbons resulting have a less specific gravity. This decompo 
sition is technically called " cracking," and it was observed long ago 
that in distilling the heavier oils lighter hydrocarbons were obtained 
during the first stages of the operation, even when not wanted. 
Cracking can be accomplished by distilling the oils under pressure, 
or, as is the case in the very large stills now employed, by allowing 
the vapors of the heavier hydrocarbons, on condensing, to flow down 
again upon the now hotter oil in the still, whereby they are cracked, 
depositing carbon. By carefully adapting the heat to the changing 


character of the oil, the yield of illuminating oil can be increased, but 
a residuum is always left in the large stills to be afterward treated in 
smaller ones. 

S. D. Hayes states that this operation can be reversed, and from 
two to ten per cent, of a heavy oil obtained from the lightest and 
cheapest gasolene or petroleum naphtha. This change he observed 
in an apparatus constructed by Mr. Z. A. Willard, for generating 
gases and hydrocarbon vapors for metallurgical purposes. It consisted 
essentially of upright wrought-iron cylinders, half-full of the naphtha, 
through which steam at the ordinary working temperature and press 
ure passed, vaporizing the naphtha, and maintaining a pressure of about 
fifty pounds to the inch. The steam and naphtha vapors were thus 
kept above the liquid at a temperature much above the boiling-point 
of naphtha, but never as high as 300 Fahr., and the decompositions 
appeared to occur rather in the vapors than in the liquid. The heavy 
oil drawn off below had a dark yellowish-brown color, was nearly 
odorless after a few days exposure to the air, had a specific gravity 
of about 34 Beaume, and boiled above 400 Fahr. By redistilling, it 
was broken up into lighter and heavier liquid hydrocarbons, paraftine, 
and separated carbon (American Journal of Science, III., ii., 184). 

gas-machines is well known, and sometimes naphtha Las been used to 
enrich coal-gas, by decomposing its vapor at a cherry -red heat, so as 
to produce a gas rich in heavy hydrocarbons, which is mixed with 
the coal-gas. Crude petroleum has also been conducted continuously 
into red-hot cast-iron retorts, whereby it is decomposed and rich gas 
formed. The Lowe process, now making daily 120,000 cubic feet of 
gas, of 19.5 candle-power, for a five-foot burner, at Utica, New York, 
is very successful. It consists essentially in forcing steam through a 
generator partly full of anthracite coal, brought to intense ignition ; 
the steam is decomposed, and the resulting hydrogen meets crude pe 
troleum that trickles down through the top of the generator; the 
petroleum is carried in vapor with the hydrogen into a " superheater" 
filled with loose fire-bricks, previously intensely heated by the gases 
from the generator. Here the hydrogen and hydrocarbons react upon 
each other, producing a permanent gas, which is purified as usual. 
The resulting gas is of uniform quality, very pure, and the saving in 
labor and materials is about 35 per cent, over coal-gas (Scientific 
American, January 8, 1876). 

As regards the use of petroleum for fuel, it has always been found 
difficult to secure the complete combustion of the oil, so as to avoid 
smoke ; the complicated nature of the contrivances devised for its use 
has also worked against its introduction as a fuel ; but a furnace for 
reheating and rolling scrap-iron into boiler-plate has been invented 
by C. J. Eames, and is worked in Jersey City, which deserves men 
tion. Prof. H. Wurtz (American Chemist, September, 1875) has de- 

I 5 6 


scribed it at length. A current of steam heated to incandescence, 
meeting crude petroleum as it drips slowly over cast-iron shelves, 
takes up all the oil and carries it to a chamber where it meets an air- 
blast and passes on to the combustion-chamber. This is a cellular 
tier of fire-bricks occupying the space over the bridge-wall of an ordi 
nary furnace. Here the combustion begins, and thence the flames 
pass into the furnace, heating the six piles of iron, of 500 pounds each, 
which form a charge. Eight tons of boiler-plate can be worked off in 
ten hours with 300 gallons of crude petroleum, to which should be 
added 500 pounds of coal for generating and heating the steam. Pe 
troleum is also used as a source of power in hydrocarbon engines 
(G. B. Brayton s), its vapor being mixed with air and ignited. 

the first abundant supplies of petroleum were obtained, the demand for 
it as an illuminator was small, and it could be bought at the wells for 
ten cents a barrel, or was even allowed to run to waste (Wrigley), 
but as the consumption increased the price rose steadily, reaching, in 
1864, $13.75 per barrel. The average prices per barrel at Titusville 
are given below, taken from StoweWs Petroleum Reporter, Pittsburg : 


. . . . $7 62 


$3 74 




4 50 


3 78 


3 84 


2 54 


1 84 


3 95 


1 29 


5 48 


1 48 

The production of the Pennsylvania oil-region, from 1859 to 1874, 
according to Wrigley, has been as follows : 

1859 3,200 barrels. 

1860 650,000 

1861 2,113,600 

1862 3,056,606 

1863 2,611,359 

1864 2,116,182 

1865 3,497,712 

1866 3,597,527 

1867 3,347,306 barrels. 

1868 3,715,741 u 

1869 4,215,000 " 

1870 5,659,000 " 

1871 5,795,000 " 

1872 6,539,103 " 

1873 9,879,303 " 

1874 10,910,303 " 

The yield for 1859 is put at about 2,000 barrels by Mr. S. II. Stow- 
ell, who has also kindly furnished the following statistics : 

Total Yield of the United States in 1875. 

Pennsylvania 8,787,506 bbls.,-of 42 galls. 

Western Virginia (approximated) 182,000 " 

All other sources, " 17,150 " 

Total 8,986,656 " 

The total value of the crude oils at the wells, up to the end of 1874, 
is given by Wrigley as $235,475,120, with an additional value for 


the refining of 75 per cent, of the whole, at $2 per barrel, of over 
$100,000,000. The stock of crude oil on hand at the wells, in December, 
1875, was 3,550,207 barrels. The total export from the United States 
during 1875 was: Crude petroleum, 378,532 barrels (of 40 gallons 
each) ; refined, 5,086,785 ; naphtha, 344,978. The average price of 
these in New York has been, per gallon : 

Crude, in Bulk. Refined, in Barrels. Naphtha, in Barrels. 

1875 6.59 cents. 12.99 cnts. 9.67 cent s. 

1874 5.86 " 13.09 " 8.85 " 

1873 7.62 " 18.21 " 11.07 " 

1872 12.80 " 23.75 u -14.81 " 

Estimating the freight at $2.50 per barrel to the sea-board, and 
including the cost of refining and handling, Wrigley puts the total 
value of petroleum exported to foreign parts from Pennsylvania, since 
the beginning of the industry, at a minimum of $260,000,000. 

In 1874 nearly 600 wells were drilled, producing an average of 50 
barrels each ; in 1875, about the same number, with an average of less 
than 25 barrels ; and there were 3,125 producing-wells in Pennsylvania, 
January 1, 1876 (Stowell). 

According to the rules of the New York Produce Exchange, crude 
petroleum shall be understood to be pure, natural oil, neither steamed 
nor treated, and free from water, sediment, or any adulteration, and 
of the gravity of 40 to 47 Beaume. An allowance of one-half of one 
per cent, for every quarter of a degree above 47 gravity shall be made 
to the buyer. Refined petroleum shall be standard white or better, 
with a fire-test of 110 Fahr. or upward. Settlements of contracts 
shall be as follows : Barreled oil or naphtha, on a basis of forty-six 
gallons per barrel ; refined oil, in bulk, forty-five gallons ; crude oil, 
in bulk, forty gallons. 

Dr. Chandler states that the average cost per hour of light equal 
to eight candles is as follows the gas being sixteen-candle power, 
with a five-foot burner, the standard kerosene flashing at 115 Fahr., 
and the sperm-candles burning each 120 grains per hour : 

From sperm-candles, at 42 cents per pound 5.76 cents. 

Gas, at $3 per 1,000 feet 0.75 

Mineral sperm-oil, in German student-lamp, at 75 cents per gallon. . 0.57 
" " in Merrill s lamp 0.48 

Astral oil, in flat-wick lamp, at 50 cents per gallon 0.46 

" " in German student-lamp 0.44 

" " in Merrill s lamp 0.34 

Standard kerosene, in flat-wick lamp, at 40 cents per gallon 0.33 

" " in German student-lamp 0.31 

" in Merrill s lamp 0.28 " 






SECTION 13. Electric Induction. We have now to apply the the 
ory of electric fluids to the important subject of electric induction. 
It was noticed by early observers that contact was not necessary 
to electrical excitement. Otto von Guericke, as we have already 
seen, found that a body brought near his sulphur globe became elec 
trical. By bringing his excited glass tube near one end of a conduct 
or, Stephen Gray attracted light bodies at the other end. He also 
obtained attraction through the human body. From the human body, 
also, Du Fay, to his astonishment, obtained a spark. Canton, in 1753, 
suspended pith-balls by thread, and, holding an excited glass tube at 
a considerable distance, caused them to diverge. On removing the 
tube the balls fell together, no permanent charge being imparted to 
them. Such phenomena were further studied and developed by 
Wilcke and JEpinus, Coulomb and Poisson. 

These and all similar results are embraced by the law that, when an 
electrified body is brought near an unelectrified one, the neutral fluid 
of the latter is decomposed, one of its constituents being attracted, 
the other repelled. When the electrified body is withdrawn, the sep 
arated electricities flow again together and render the body unelectric. 

This decomposition of the neutral fluid by the mere presence of an 
electrified body is called induction. It is also called electrification 
by influence. 

If, while it is under the influence of the electrified body, the body 
influenced be touched, the free electricity (which is always of the 
same kind as that of the influencing body) passes away, the opposite 
electricity being held captive. 

On removing the electrified body the captive electricity is set free, 
the conductor being charged with electricity opposite in kind to that 
of the body which electrified it. 

You cannot do better here than repeat Stephen Gray s experiment. 
Support a small plank upon a warm tumbler, and bring under one of 
its ends and near it scraps of light paper or of gold-leaf. Excite your 
glass tube vigorously, and bring it over the other end of the plank, 
without touching it. The ends may be six or eight feet apart ; the light 
bodies will be attracted. The experiment is easily made, and you are 
not to rest satisfied till you can make it with ease and certainty. 

*A course of six lectures, with simple experiments in frictional electricity, before 
juvenile audiences during the Christmas holidays. 


1 S9 

This is a fit place to say that you must keep a close eye upon the 
tumblers you employ for insulation. Some of them, made of common 
glass, are hardly to be accounted insulators at all. We shall prove this. 

Our mastery over this subject of induction must be complete, for 
it underlies all our subsequent inquiries. Without reference to it 
nothing is to be explained ; possessed of it you will enjoy, not only a 
wonderful power of explanation, but of prediction. We will attack 
it, therefore, with the determination to exhaust it. 

And here a slight addition must be made to our apparatus. We 
must be in a condition to take samples of electricity, and to convey 
them, with the view of testing them, from place to place. For this 
purpose the little " carrier," shown in Fig. 10, will be found conven 
ient. Tis a bit of tin-foil, two or three inches square. A straw stem 
is stuck on to it by sealing-wax, the lower end of the stem being cov 
ered by sealing-wax. To make the insulation sure, the part between 
JK and S is wholly of sealing-wax. You can have stems of ebonite, 
which are stronger, for a few pence ; but you can have this one for a 
fraction of a penny. The end R is to be held in the hand ; the elec 
trified body is to be touched by T y and the electricity conveyed to an 
electroscope to be tested. 


FIG. 10. 

FIG. 11. 

Touch your rubbed glass rod with T, and then touch your electro 
scope : the leaves diverge with positive electricity. Touch your 
rubbed gutta-percha or sealing-wax with T, and then touch your elec 
troscope : the leaves diverge with negative electricity. If the elec 
tricity of any body augment the divergence produced by the glass, 
the electricity of that body is positive. If it augment^the divergence 
produced by the gutta-percha, the electricity is negative, 
we are ready for further work. 

And now 


Place an egg, E, Fig. 11, on its side upon a dry wineglass ; bring 
your excited glass tube, 6r, within an inch or so of the end of the egg. 
What is the condition of the egg ? Its electricity is decomposed ; 
the negative covering the end a adjacent to the tube, the positive 
covering the other end b. Remove the glass tube : what occurs ? 
The two electricities flow together and neutrality is restored. Prove 
this neutrality. Neither a carrier touching the egg, nor the egg it 
self, has any power to affect your electroscope, or to attract a lath 
balanced in the manner already described. 

Again, bring the excited tube near the egg. Touch its distant 
part b with your carrier. The carrier now attracts the straw or the 
balanced lath. It also causes the leaves of your electroscope to di 
verge. What is the quality of the electricity ? It repels and is re 
pelled by rubbed glass ; the electricity at b is, therefore, positive. 
Discharge the carrier by touching it, and bring it into contact with 
the end a of the egg nearest to the glass tube. The electricity you 
take away repels and is repelled by gutta-percha. It is, therefore, 
negative. Test the quality, also, by the electroscope. 

While the tube G is near the egg touch the end b with your fin 
ger; now try to charge the carrier by touching b: you cannot do so 
the positive electricity has disappeared. Has the negative disap 
peared also. No. Remove the glass tube, and once more touch the 
egg at b with the carrier. It is charged, not with positive, but with 
negative electricity. Clearly understand this experiment. The neu 
tral electricity of the egg is first decomposed into negative and posi 
tive ; the former attracted, the latter repelled by the excited glass. 
The repelled electricity is free to escape, and it has escaped on your 

FIG. 12. 

touching the egg with your finger. But the attracted electricity can 
not escape as long as the influencing tube is held near. On removing 
the tube which holds the negative fluid in bondage, that fluid imme 
diately diffuses itself over the whole egg. An apple, or a turnip, will 
answer for these experiments at least as well as an egg. 


Discharge the egg by touching it. Reexcite the glass tube and 
bring it again near. Touch the egg with a wire or with your finger 
at a. Is it the negative at a, into which you plunge your finger, that 
escapes ? No such thing. The free positive fluid passes through the 
negative, and through your finger to the earth. Prove this, by re 
moving first your finger and then the glass tube. The egg is charged 

Again: place two eggs, E E^ Fig. 12, lengthwise on two dry 
wineglasses, g g^ and cause two of their ends to touch each other, as 
at C. Bring your rubbed glass rod near the end a, and while it is 
there separate the eggs by moving one glass away from the other. 
Withdraw the rod and test both eggs : a is negative, b is positive. 
The two charges neutralize each other in the electroscope. Again : 
bring the eggs together and restore the rubbed tube to its place near 
a. Touch a and then separate the eggs. Remove the glass rod and 
test the eggs : a is negative, b is neutral. Its electricity has escaped 
through the finger, though placed at a. 

Push your experiments still farther, and, instead of bringing the 
eggs, T T f , Fig. 13, together, place them six feet or so apart, and let 
a light chain, (7, or wire stretch from one to the other. Two brass 

FIG. 13. 

balls or wooden balls covered with tin-foil, and supported by tall 
drinking-glasses, G Gr, will be better than the eggs for this experi 
ment, for they will bear better the strain of the chain ; but you can 
make the experiment with the eggs, or very readily with two apples 
or two turnips. For the present we will suppose the straw-index II 
not to be there. Rub your glass tube R, and bring it near one of the 
balls ; test both: the near one, T , is negative, the distant one, T, 
positive. Touch the near one, the positive electricity, which had been 
driven along the chain to the remotest part of the system, returns 
along the chain, passes through the negative which is held captive by 
the tube, and escapes to the earth. When the tube is removed, nega 
tive electricity overspreads both chain and balls. 

In Fig. 6 you made the acquaintance of the plate N, and the 

VOL. IX 11 



straw-index / / , shown in Fig. 13. By its means you immediately 
see both the effect of the first induction and the consequence of 
touching any part of the system with the finger. The plate N rests 
over the ball or turnip T, the position of the straw-index being that 
shown by the dots. Bring the rubbed tube near T : the end JVof the 
index immediately descends and the other end rises along the grad 
uated scale. Remove the glass rod ; the index 1 1 immediately falls. 
Practise this approach and withdrawal, and observe how promptly 
the index declares the induction and recomposition of the fluids. 

While the tube is near T, and the end JVof the index is attracted, 
let T be touched by the finger. The end JVis immediately liberated, 
for the electricity which pulled it down escapes along the chain and 
through the finger to the earth. Now remove your excited tube. 
The captive negative electricity diffuses itself over both balls, and 
the index is again attracted. 

Instead of the chain you may interpose between the balls one 
hundred feet of wire supported by silk loops. This is done in Fig. 
14, which shows the wire w supported by the silk strings S S $, and 
where, for the ball or turnip, the cylinder (7, on a glass support Gr, is 
substituted. Every approach and withdrawal of the rubbed glass 
tube H is followed obediently by the corresponding motion of the 

FIG. 14. 

Or, substituting a carrot, a cucumber, or other elongated conduct 
or for the ball T , Fig. 12, you cause your rubbed glass tube to act 
upon a greater extent of surface. You thus decompose more elec 
tricity and produce a greater attraction. 

Repeat here an experiment, first made by a great electrician named 
^Epinus. I wish you to make these grand old experiments. Support 
an elongated metal conductor, or one formed of wood coated with 
tin-foil even a carrot, cucumber, or parsnip, so that it will be insu- 


lated, will answer. Let a small weight suspended from a silk string 
rest on one end of the conductor, and hold your rubbed glass rod 
near the other end. You can. predict beforehand what will occur 
when you remove the weight. It carries away with it electricity, 
which repels rubbed glass, and which attracts your balanced lath. 

Stand on an insulating stool : make one, if necessary, by placing 
a board on four warm tumblers. Present the knuckles of your right 
hand to the end of the balanced lath, and stretch forth your left arm. 
There is no attraction. But let a friend or an assistant bring the 
rubbed glass tube over the left arm ; the lath immediately follows 
the right hand. 

While matters continue thus, touch the lath, which I suppose to 
be uninsulated ; the " attractive virtue," as it was called by Gray, dis 
appears. After this, as long as the excited tube is held over the arm 
there is no attraction. But when the tube is removed the attractive 
power of the hand is restored. Here, you will at once comprehend, 
the first attraction w r as by positive electricity driven to the right hand 
from the left, and the second attraction by negative electricity, liber 
ated by the removal of the glass rod. 

Stand on an insulating stool, and place your right hand on the 
electroscope : there is no action. Stretch forth the left arm and per 
mit an assistant alternately to bring near, and to withdraw, an excited 
glass tube. The gold-leaves open and collapse in similar alternation. 
At every approach, positive electricity is driven over the gold-leaves ; 
at every withdrawal, the equilibrium is restored. 

I will now ask you to charge your Dutch gold electroscope posi 
tively by rubbed gutta-percha, and to charge it negatively by rubbed 
glass. A moment s reflection will enable you to do it. You bring 
your excited body near : the same electricity as that of the excited 
body is driven over the leaves, and they diverge by repulsion. Touch 
the electroscope, the leaves collapse. Withdraw your finger, and 
withdraw afterward the excited body : the leaves then diverge with 
the opposite electricity. 

The simplest way of testing the quality of electricity is to charge 
the electroscope with electricity of a known kind. If, on the approach 
of the body to be tested, the leaves diverge still wider, the leaves and 
the body are similarly electrified. The reason is obvious. 

The wealth of knowledge, and of interest, which these experiments 
involve, may be placed within any boy s reach by the wise expendi 
ture of half a crown. 

Once firmly possessed of the principle of induction and versed in 
its application, the difiiculties of our subject will melt away before us. 
In fact, our subsequent work will consist mainly in unraveling phe 
nomena by the aid of this principle. 

Without a knowledge of this principle we could render no account 


of the attraction of neutral bodies by our excited tubes. In reality, 
the attracted bodies are not neutral : they are first electrified by in 
fluence, and it is because they are thus electrified that they are at 

This is the, place to stamp upon your mind the following considera 
tions: Neutral bodies, as just stated, are attracted, because they are 
really converted into electrified bodies by induction. Suppose a body 
to be feebly electrified positively, and that you bring your rubbed 
glass-rod to bear upon the body. You clearly see that the induced 
negative electricity may be strong enough to mask and overcome the 
weak positive charge possessed by the body. We should thus have 
two bodies electrified alike, attracting each other. This is the danger 
against which I promised to warn yon in Section 10, where the test of 
attraction was rejected. 

We will now apply the principle to explain a very beautiful inven 
tion, made known by the celebrated Volta in 1775. 

SEC. 14. The Electrophorus. Cut a circle, T (Fig. 15), six inches 
in diameter, out of sheet-zinc, or out of common tin. Heat it at its 

FIG. 15. 

centre by the flame of a spirit-lamp or of a candle. Attach to it there 
a stick of sealing-wax, H, which, when the metal cools, is to serve as 
an insulating handle. You have now the lid of the electrophorus. A 
resinous surface, or what is simpler a sheet of vulcanized India-rubber, 
P, or even of hot brown paper, will answer for the plate of the elec 

Rub your " plate " with flannel, or whisk it briskly with a fox s 
brush. It is thereby negatively electrified. Place the "lid" of your 
electrophorus on the excited surface : it touches it at a few points only. 
For the most part lid and plate are separated by a film of air. 

The excited surface acts by induction across this film upon the lid, 
attracting its positive and repelling its negative electricity. You 
have in fact in the lid two layers of electricity, the lower one, which 
is " bound," positive ; the upper one, which is " free," negative. Lift 


the lid: the electricities flow again together; neutrality is restored, 
and your lid fails to attract your balanced lath. 

Once more place the lid upon the excited surface : touch it with 
the finger. What occurs ? You ought to know. The free electricity, 
which is negative, will escape through your body to the earth, leaving 
the chained positive behind. 

Now lift the lid by the handle : what is its condition ? Again I 
say you ought to know. It is covered with free positive electricity. 
If it be presented to the lath it will strongly attract it ; if it be pre 
sented to the knuckle it will yield a spark. 

A smooth half-crown or penny will answer for this experiment. 
Stick to the coin an inch of sealing-wax as an insulating handle ; bring 
it down upon the excited India-rubber : touch it, lift it, and present it 
to your lath. The lath may be six or eight feet long, three inches 
wide, and half an inch thick ; the little electrophorus-lid, formed by 
the half-crown, will pull it round and round. The experiment is a 
very impressive one. 

Scrutinize your instrument still further. Let the end of a thin 
wire rest upon the lid of your electrophorus, under a little weight if 
necessary, and connect the other end of the wire with the electro 
scope. As you lower the lid down toward the excited plate of the 
electrophorus, what must occur ? The power of prevision now belongs 
to you and you must exercise it. The repelled electricity will flow 
over the leaves of the electroscope, causing them to diverge. Lift the 
lid, they collapse. Lower and raise the lid several times, and observe 
the corresponding rhythmic action of the electroscope-leaves. 

A little knob of sealing-wax, ./?, coated with tin-foil ; or indeed any 
knob with a conducting surface, stuck into the lid of the electropho 
rus, will enable you to obtain a better spark. The reason of this will 
immediately appear. 

SEC. 15. Action of Points and Flames. The course of exposition 
proceeds naturally from the electrophorus to the electrical machine. 
But before we take up the machine we must make our minds clear re 
garding the manner in which electricity diffuses itself over conductors, 
and more especially over elongated and pointed conductors. 

Rub your glass tube and draw it over an insulated sphere of metal 
of wood covered with tin-foil, or indeed any other insulated spheri 
cal conductor. Repeat the process several times, so as to impart a 
good charge to the sphere. Touch the charged sphere with your car 
rier, and transfer the charge to the electroscope. Note the diver 
gence of the leaves. Discharge the electroscope, and repeat the ex 
periment, touching, however, some other point of the sphere. The 
electroscope shows the same amount of divergence. Even when the 
greatest exactness of the most practised experimenter is brought 
into play, the spherical conductor is found to be equally charged 
at all points of its surface. You may figure the electric fluid as 


a little ocean encompassing tbe sphere, and of the same depth every 

But supposing the conductor, instead of being a sphere, to be a 
cube, an elongated cylinder, a cone, or a disk. The depth, or as it is 
sometimes called the density of the electricity, will not be everywhere 
the same. The corners of the cube will impart a stronger charge to 
your carrier than the sides. The end of the cylinder will impart a 
stronger charge than its middle. The edge of the disk will impart a 
stronger charge than its flat surface. The apex or point of the cone 
will impart a stronger charge than its curved surface or its base. 

You can satisfy yourself of the truth of all this in a rough but cer 
tain way, by charging, after the sphere, a turnip cut into the form of a 
cube ; or a cigar-box coated with tin-foil ; a metal cylinder, or a wood 
en one coated with tin-foil ; a disk of tin or of sheet-zinc ; a carrot or 
parsnip with its natural shape improved so as to make it a sharp cone. 
You will find the charge imparted to the carrier by the sharp corners 
and points, to be greater than that communicated by gently-rounded 
or flat surfaces. The difference may not be great, but it will be dis 
tinct. Indeed, the egg laid on its side, as we have already used it in 
our experiments on induction, yields a stronger charge from its ends 
than from its middle. 

Let me place before you an example of this distribution, taken 
from the excellent work on " Frictional Electricity," by Prof. Riess, 
of Berlin, who is probably the greatest living exponent of the sub 
ject. Two cones, Fig. 16, are placed together base to base. Calling 

FIG. 16. 

the strength of the charge along the circular edge where the two 
bases join each other 100, the charge at the apex of the blunter cone 
is 133, and at the apex of the sharper one 202. The other numbers 
give the charges taken from the points where they are placed. Fig. 
17, moreover, represents a cube with a cone placed upon it. The 
charge on the face of the cube being 1, the charges at the corners of 
the cube and at the apex of the cone are given by the other numbers ; 
they are all far in excess of the electricity on the flat surface. 

Riess found that he could deduce with great accuracy the sharp 
ness of a point, from the charge which it imparted. He compared in 
this way the sharpness of various thorns with that of a fine English 
sewing-needle. The following is the result: Euphorbia-thorn was 
sharper than the needle ; gooseberry-thorn of the same sharpness as 


the needle; while cactus, blackthorn, and rose, fell more and more 
behind the needle in sharpness. Calling, for example, the charge ob 
tained from euphorbia 90, that obtained from the needle was 80, and 
from the rose only 53. 

FIG. 17. 

Considering that the electricity is self-repulsive, and that it heaps 
itself up upon a point in the manner here shown, you will have little 
difficulty in conceiving that, when the charge of a conductor carrying 
a point is sufficiently strong, the electricity will finally disperse itself 
by streaming from the point. 

The following experiments are theoretically important : Attach a 
stick of sealing-wax to a small plate of tin, so that the stick may stand 
upright. Heat a needle and insert it into the top of the stick of wax ; 
on this needle mount a carrot. You have thus an insulated conduct 
or. Stick into your carrot at one of its ends a sewing-needle, and 
hold for an instant your rubbed glass rod in front of this needle with 
out touching it. What occurs ? The negative electricity of the car 
rot is discharged from the point against the glass rod. Remove the 
rod, test the carrot: it is positively electrified. 

And now for another experiment, not so easily made, but still cer 
tain to succeed if you are careful. Excite your glass rod, turn your 
needle away from it, and bring the rod near the other end of the car 
rot. What occurs ? The positive electricity is now repelled to the 
point, from which it will stream into the air. Remove the rod and 
test the carrot : it is negatively electrified. 

Again, turn the point toward you, and place in front of it a plate 
of dry glass, wax, resin, shellac, paraffine, gutta-percha, or any other 
insulator. Pass your rubbed glass tube once downward or upward, 
the insulating plate being between the excited tube and the point. 
The point will discharge against the insulating plate, which on trial 
will be found negatively electrified. These experiments, I may say, 
were discussed, and differently interpreted by the two philosophers, 
during an important correspondence between Faraday and Prof. 

Riess. 1 

1 Philosophical Magazine," vol. xi., 1856. 



SEC. 16. The Electrical Machine. An electrical machine consists 
of two principal parts: the insulator which is excited by friction, 
and the " prime conductor." 

The sulphur sphere of Otto von Guericke was, as already stated, 
the first electrical machine. The hand was the rubber, and indeed it 
long continued to be so. For the sulphur sphere Hauksbee and 
Winckler substituted globes of glass. Boze, of Wittenberg (1741), 
added the prime conductor, which was at first a tin tube supported 
by resin, or suspended by silk. Soon afterward Gordon substituted 
a glass cylinder for the globe. It was sometimes mounted vertically, 
sometimes horizontally. Gordon so intensified his discharges as to 
be able to kill small birds with them. In 1760 Planta introduced the 
plate machine now commonly in use. 

Mr. Cottrell has constructed for these lessons the small cylinder 
machine shown in Fig. 18. The glass cylinder is about seven inches 
long and four inches in diameter ; its cost is eighteen pence. Through 
the cylinder passes tightly, as an axis, a piece of lath, rendered secure 

FIG. 18. 

by sealing-wax where it enters and quits the cylinder. G is a glass rod 
supporting the conductor (7, which is a piece of lath coated with tin 
foil. Into the lath is driven the series of pin-points, jP, P. The rub 
ber, 72, is seen at the farther side of the cylinder, supported by the 
upright lath, 72 , and caused to press against the glass. S is a flap 
of silk. When the handle is turned sparks may be taken, or a Ley- 
den-jar charged at the knob C. A plate machine is shown in Fig. 19. 
P is the plate ; 72 and 72 , two rubbers which clasp the plate. A and 
A are rows of points presented by the conductor, C. C C is an in 
sulating rod of glass, intended to cut off the connection between the 
conductor and the handle of the machine. 

The prime conductor is thus charged: when the glass plate is 



turned, as it passes each rubber it is positively electrified. Facing 
the electrified glass is the row of points midway between the two 
rubbers. On these points the electrified glass acts by induction, at 
tracting the negative and repelling the positive. In accordance with 
the principles already explained the negative electricity streams from 
the points against the excited glass, which passes on neutralized to 
the next rubber, where it is again excited. Thus the prime conductor 
is charged, not by the direct communication to it of positive elec 
tricity, but by depriving it of its negative. 

FIG. 19. 

If, when the prime conductor is charged, you bring the knuckle 
near it, the electricity passes from the conductor to the knuckle in 
the form of a spark. 

Take this spark while the machine is being turned, and then try 
the effect of presenting the finger-ends, instead of the knuckle, to the 
conductor. The spark falls exceedingly in brilliancy. Substitute for 
the finger-ends a needle-point, you fail to get a spark at all. To ob 
tain a good spark the electricity upon the prime conductor must reach 
a sufficient density (or tension, as it is sometimes called). To secure 
this, no points from which the electricity can stream must exist on the 
conductor, or be presented to it. All parts of the conductor are 
therefore carefully rounded off, sharp points and edges being avoided. 

It is usual to attach to the conductor an electroscope, consisting 
of an upright metal stem, A C\ Fig. 20, to which a straw with a pith- 
ball, B, at its free end, is attached. The straw turns loosely upon a 
pivot at C. The electricity passing from the conductor is diffused 
over the whole electroscope, and the straw and stem, being both posi 
tively electrified, repel each other. The straw, being the movable 
body, flies away. The amount of the divergence is measured upon a 
graduated arc. 



If no point exist on the conductor, a single turn of the handle of 
the machine suffices to cause the straw to stand out nearly at right 
angles to the stem. If, on the contrary, a point be attached to the 
conductor, you cannot produce a large divergence. The reason is, 
that the electricity, as fast as it is generated, is dispersed by the 
point. The same effect is observed when you present a point to the 

FIG. 20. 

conductor. The conductor acts by induction upon the point, causing 
the negative electricity to stream from it against the conductor, 
which is thus neutralized almost as fast as it is charged. Flames and 
glowing embers act like points ; they also rapidly discharge electricity. 

The electricity escaping from a point or flame into the air renders 
the air self-repulsive. The consequence is that, when the hand is 
placed over a point mounted on the prime conductor of a machine in 
good action, a cold blast is distinctly felt. Dr. Watson noticed this 
blast from a flame placed on an electrified conductor, while Wilson 
noticed the blast from a point. Jallabert and the Abbe Nollet also 
observed and described the influence of points and flames. The blast 
is called the " electric wind." Wilson moved bodies by its action ; 
Faraday caused it to depress the surface of a liquid ; Hamilton em 
ployed the reaction of the electric wind to make pointed wires rotate. 
The " wind " was also found to promote evaporation. 

Hamilton s apparatus is called the " electric mill." Make one for 
yourself thus : Place two straws S $, S $ , Fig. 21, about eight inches 
long, across each other at a right angle. Stick them together at their 
centres by a bit of sealing-wax. Pass a fine wire through each straw 
and bend it where it issues from the straw, so as to form a little 
pointed arm perpendicular to the straw, and from half an inch to 
three-quarters of an inch long. It is easy, by means of a bit of cork 
or sealing-wax, to fix the wire so that the little bent arms shall point 
not upward or downward, but sideways, when the cross is horizontal. 
The points of sewing-needles may also be employed for the bent arms. 
A little bit of straw is stuck into the cross at the centre, to form a 
cap. This slips over a sewing-needle, JVJ supported by a stick of 



sealing-wax, A. Connect the sewing-needle with the machine, and 
turn. A wind of a certain force is discharged from every point, and 
the cross is urged round with the same force in the opposite direction. 
You might easily, of course, so arrange the points that the wind 
from some of them would neutralize the wind from others. But the 
little pointed arms are to be so bent that the reaction in every case 
shall not oppose, but add itself to, the others. 


FIG. 21. 

The following experiments will yield you important information 
regarding the action of points : Stand, as you have so often done be 
fore, upon a board supported by four warm tumblers. Hold a small 
sewing-needle, with its point defended by the forefinger of your right 
hand, toward your Dutch metal electroscope. Place your left hand 
on the prime conductor of your machine. Let the handle be turned 
by a friend or an assistant : the leaves of the electroscope open out a 
little. Uncover the needle-point by the removal of your finger : the 
leaves at once fly violently apart. 

Mount a stout wire upright on the conductor of your machine ; or 
support the wire by sealing-wax, gutta-percha, or glass, at a distance 
from the conductor. Connect both by a fine wire. Bend your stout 
wire into a hook, and hang from it *a tassel composed of many strips 
of light paper. Work the machine. Electricity from the conductor 
flows over the tassel, and the strips diverge. Hold your closed fist 
toward the tassel, the strips of paper stretch toward it. Hold the 
needle, defended by the finger, toward the tassel : atctration also en 
sues. Uncover the needle without moving the hand ; the strips re 
treat as if blown away by a wind. 

And now repeat Du Fay s experiment which led to the discovery 
of two electricities. Excite your glass tube, and hold it in readiness, 
while a friend, or an assistant, liberates a real gold or silver leaf in 



the air. Bring the tube near the leaf: it plunges toward the tube, 
stops suddenly, and then flies away. You may chase it round the 
room for hours without permitting it to reach the ground. The leaf 
is first acted upon inductively by the tube. It is powerfully attracted 
for a moment, and rushes toward the tube. But from its thin edges 
and corners the negative electricity streams forth, leaving the leaf 
positively electrified. Repulsion then sets in, because tube and leaf 
are electrified alike. The retreat of the tassel in the last experiment 
is due to a similar cause. 

There is also a discharge of positive electricity into the air from 
the more distant portions of the gold-leaf, to which that electricity 
is repelled. Both discharges are accompanied by an electric wind. 
It is possible to give the gold-leaf a shape which shall enable it to 
float securely in the air by the reaction of the two winds issuing from 
its opposite ends. This is Franklin s experiment of the Golden Fish. 
It was first made with the charged conductor of the electrical machine. 

FIG. 22 

M. Srtsczek revived it in a more convenient form, using instead of the 
conductor the knob of a charged Leyden-jar. You may walk round 
a room with the jar in your hand; the "fish" will obediently follow 
in the air an inch or two, or even three inches, from the knob. (See 
A _Z?, Fig. 22.) Even a hasty motion of the jar will not shake it 

Well-pointed lightning-conductors, when acted on by a thunder 
cloud, behave in the same way. The opposite electricity streams out 
from them against the cloud. 

Franklin saw this with great clearness, and illustrated it with 
great ingenuity. The under-side of a thunder-cloud, when viewed 


horizontally, he observed to be ragged, composed of fragments one 
below the other, sometimes reaching near the earth. These he re 
garded as so many stepping-stones which assist in conducting the 
stroke of the cloud. To represent these by experiment, he took two 
or three locks of fine loose cotton, tied them in a row, and hung 
them from his prime conductor. When this was excited, the locks 
stretched downward toward the earth ; but, by presenting a sharp 
point erect under the lowest bunch of cotton, it shrunk upward to 
that above it, nor did the shrinking cease till all the locks had 
retreated to the prime conductor itself. "May not," says Franklin, 
" the small electrified clouds, whose equilibrium with the earth is so 
soon restored by the point, rise up to the main body, and by that 
means occasion so large a vacancy that the grand cloud cannot strike 
in that place ? " 


-YTT~HEN a woman thinks of making deliberate choice of the pro- 
W fession of a sick-nurse, she can, of course, take into careful 
consideration if her character and temperament are or are not suited 
for so arduous and trying an avocation. If she is a person of excit 
able nature, and possessed of but little self-control, she can be wisely 
counseled to give up the idea of a life for which she is so thoroughly 
unfit ; but no peculiarities of character or temperament can exempt a 
woman from being called upon by the plain voice of duty, at one time 
or other of her life, to take her stand by the bedside of one dear to 
her, and soothe as best she may many a weary hour of restlessness 
and pain. 

Very few, indeed, are the women who escape this rule most have 
to take upon themselves the burden of attendance in a sick-room 
and perhaps there are few subjects upon which the generality of 
women are so well-intentioned, and yet so ignorant. With the very 
best and kindest meaning in the world, attention bestowed upon a 
suffering person may be productive of more discomfort than comfort 
to the patient, and endless annoyance to the physician, just because 
the zealous, but alas! untrained and undisciplined volunteer < 
everything the wrong way. 

Again, from a mistaken and unreal idea of true delicacy and 
finement, many women shrink from ever seeing or learning anything 
about suffering or sorrow ; and so, when the inevitable fate brings 
the si-hts and sounds of pain, the dreadful realities of death, cruelly 
home to them, they are paralyzed by terror, and useless, nay, worse 
than useless to those most dear to them. Even as I write, si 
stances rise before my mind of a lack of moral courage, an utter un- 


possibility of self-command, that has led the mother to flee from the 
bedside of her dying child, the wife to turn away from the failing 
sight that yearns to gaze upon her face while life yet lingers ! The 
contemplation of pain could not be borne, because the mind was weak 
ened and enervated by a selfish habit of yielding to the dislike Of 
bravely facing anything disagreeable. Let all true women train 
themselves to possess self-control, calmness, and patient courage ; let 
them strive to acquire a certain amount of knowledge of the cares 
and duties of the sick-room ; let them not shrink from hearing the 
details of this or that form of suffering and disease, and gladly and 
readily offer help (when they rightly and safely can) outside the 
bounds of their own immediate home circle. Let them rejoice in any 
fitting opportunity that may come in their way of perfecting them 
selves in this, the highest and holiest of woman s duties, so that when 
their own time of trial comes they may not fail ! 

Taking it for granted that there are many who will gladly take 
a few plain and practical hints on this subject, I shall condense the 
result of a somewhat long and wide experience into a short space. 

And, first: It is in things which of themselves appear trifling, and 
even insignificant, that the comfort of a sick-room is made or marred. 
For instance, an energetic and amiably-intentioned person places a 
cold pillow beneath the shoulders of a patient suffering from pneumo 
nia, that is, inflammation of the lungs ; a fit of coughing, perhaps a 
restless night, is the result. Five minutes warming of the pillow at 
the fire would have prevented all this mischief, and even conduced to 

Dress, again, is a matter of great importance in a sick-room, and 
here I must enter a protest against that very common practice of the 
amateur sick-nurse making a " guy " of herself. I really have seen 
such startling and unpleasant costumes donned "for the occasion," as 
seemed to me enough to cause delirium in the patient, if long contem 
plated shawls, and dressing-gowns, and wraps, of such an obsolete 
and awful character, that the shadow of the watcher, cast upon the 
wall by the dim light of the night-lamp, must form a horrible " old 
granny," and be by no means a pleasing reflection to meet a sick 
man s eyes, as he wakes weak and confused from an opiate-won 
sleep ! 

The best dress for a sick-room is plain black for the simple rea 
son that no stain shows upon it an old silk is the most economical, 
but silk rustles, and is therefore objectionable. Black lustre is very 
serviceable not made long enough to trail, upset chairs, and get 
under the doctor s feet ; and not having hanging sleeves, but fitting 
close and neat at the wrist, so as to be finished off by nice white linen 
cuffs. (I have seen a hanging sleeve catch on some projecting point 
of chair or table, and convert a glass of egg-flip into a " douche " ex 
ternally applied, swamping the patient in a yellow sea, besides send- 


ing her into hysterics.) A habit of moving quietly about the room, 
and yet not treading " on tiptoe " and making every board in the 
floor creak its loudest, is also very advisable ; and nothing can be 
better by way of foot-gear than those soft, warm felt boots now 
so common ; they both keep the nurse s feet from becoming cold, 
and make the least possible sound in moving about. Of course the 
manner of speaking in a sick-room is all-important. Oh, the horror of 
that dreadful " pig s whisper," which penetrates to the inmost recesses 
of the room, and wakes the sleeping patient as surely as the banging 
of a door ! 

I call to mind a case of fever a very bad case, in which sleep was 
the one desideratum almost the only hope. The sufferer had fallen 
into a doze the terrible throbbing of the arteries in the bared throat 
seemed a little less rapid the fire that was burning life away raged 
a little less fiercely but, some idiot peeped in through a half-closed 
door, and with horrible contortions of the visage, intended to express 
extreme caution, whispered in blood-chilling tones, " How is he 
getting on now ? " 

In an instant the patient had raised himself in bed, the poor hot 
hands were thrown out to ward off he knew not what the filmy eyes 
stared wildly round the parched tongue faltered : " What is it ? 
Where is it ? " And for hours the weary head tossed from side to 
side, and meaningless words fell on the ears of those who watched 
and waited, and almost feared to hope. And yet it was meant in kind 
ness ! 

In some of the most severe diseases, such as cholera and diphtheria, 
the patient is often intensely conscious of all that is passing around 
him. The wish to know everything that is said and done is extreme, 
and nothing excites a patient so much as anything like whispering 
and mystery. The natural voice, only so much lowered as to be per 
fectly distinct, is, then, the proper tone for a sick-room. If silence is 
needed, let it be complete, and no whispering permitted either in the 
room, or, worse still, outside the door. 

And now I must say a few words on a disagreeable but yet most 
important subject. In any case where operative surgery is necessary, 
it cannot be too strongly insisted upon that no one shall remain 
present whose calmness and self-control are not a certainty. I re 
member well a delicate and difficult operation having to be performed 
not a painful one, but where success mainly depended on the per 
fect stillness of the patient. Scarcely had the first slight incision 
been made, when the room resounded with the moans and cries, not 
of the sufferer, but the friend who had kindly come to support her 
through the ordeal ! With many a sob, and choke, and gurgle, the 
frien(f was assisted from the room, and then all went well enough; 
but great delay, and much increase of nervousness on the part of the 
patient, naturally resulted. 


One of the many very eminent surgeons of whom America can 
boast once told me that on the occasion of performing a most formi 
dable operation, in which promptitude was a vital necessity, he saw, 
at a moment when seconds were precious, a friend, who had insisted 
on remaining present, suddenly turn deadly pale, and fall fainting on 
the floor, in uncomfortably close proximity to the chloroformed pa 
tient. Dr. B stooped down, and quietly rolled the insensible 

individual into a corner of the room, where he enjoyed undisturbed 
repose until such time as some one had time to " bring him to." 

Thus it may be seen that any one who is in the least nervous, and 
cannot be certain of his own powers of self-command, acts with 
truer kindness in remaining absent from such scenes, than by becom 
ing an added source of anxiety, where there is so much already of the 
gravest character. If, however, a woman has the moral courage to 
face such trials calmly, and without flurry if she can do simply what 
she is told, and nothing more if she can hold her tongue wholly 
dismiss herself from her own mind, concentrating all her attention on 
the patient, she may be of untold help and comfort. On the other 
hand, a sick-nurse who asks the doctor endless questions who pre 
sumes in her ignorance to criticise his treatment who is spasmodic 
in her sympathy, and ejaculatory in her lamentations, is pestilent in 
a sick-room, and should, if possible, be got rid of at any cost. 

But as well as the nervous and excitable nurse, there is another 
species of the genus against whom I would warn any one who in the 
least values his own comfort, and that is, the person who insists upon 
" helping you " to nurse some very severe case, and never ceases assur 
ing you that she " keeps up splendidly at the time, but afterward ; " 
and then comes an ominous shake of the head, which is a ghastly in 
timation of what a time you will have of it with her, when what 
she is pleased to call the " reaction " sets in. Nothing can be more 
aggravating than to contemplate such an individual, and look forward 
to the " breaking-down " which she assures you is inevitable, and which 
you feel assured will come just when you and everybody else are tired 
out with nursing the real sufferer, and when you want to go to bed, 
and sleep your sleep out. The very idea of having to put hot-water 
bottles to her feet, and mustard-poultices to her side, and cooling 
lotions to her aching brow, and watch her acting the martyr (the 
while you are wishing her at Jericho, or some other equally hard-to- 
get-back-from place), is not a pleasant anticipation, as you sit opposite 
to her through a long night of watching, and she tells you, with a 
melancholy yet vainglorious countenance, how she shall " pay for this 
afterward." But she treats with scorn your suggestion that she should 
go to bed indeed, she would be bitterly disappointed if she might 
not immolate herself and you. This sort of thing is what I call " self 
ish unselfishness," a kind of self-sacrifice that is always acting as its 
own bill-poster. 


But there is one kind of nervousness which I do not think meets 
with sufficient consideration, and that is the unconquerable fear which 
you will find some people have of any disease that is infectious. 
Now, I think this sort of fear is far more constitutional than mental, 
and it appears to me most uncharitable to speak of those who are thus 
nervous by temperament as " so frightened," etc. Depend upon it, if 
any one has a great dread of infection, he is far better away from the 
chance of it. If I heard a person express a great and overpowering 
dread of small-pox, cholera, fever, or diphtheria, I should do all in my 
power to prevent that person going near any case of the kind, because 
I should be morally certain of the result. As a rule, I believe that 
those who are perfectly fearless are comparatively safe ; and there is 
no truer test of perfect freedom from nervous dread than the fact of 
being able to sleep at once, quietly and naturally, and without the 
mind being obliged to dwell upon the work of the day. The best 
cholera-nurse I ever saw used to tell me that she often sat down in the 
corner of a room, on the floor, and "slept right off" for half an hour 
at a time, either day or night, just as such opportunity for rest pre 
sented itself. But of course there are exceptions to all rules ; and one 
of the most devoted and the most fearless in attendance on the sick, 
during a terrible epidemic, died just when the worst of the battle 
seemed over. 

But to return to some of those " trifles," the knowledge of which 
is so needful to those who would try to fulfill well the duties of an 
amateur sick-nurse. 

When active personal care of a sick person is undertaken, the fin 
ger-nails should be kept very short. I have seen a long nail tear open 
a blister, and expose a raw surface, causing great pain. For the same 
reason, all removable rings should be taken off; and any ornaments 
that hang loose and make a jingling noise are best dispensed with, 
as they irritate and annoy a sensitive patient. 

It seems to me that this very unpretending paper will be hardly 
complete without a few words as to the diet that is best for any one 
acting as sick-nurse in a long and trying case. 

One great point is, to let no silly notions of sentiment prevent you 
making a practice of taking substantial and regular meals ; and, when 
you have to sit up all night, be sure and have food at hand, and never 
go more than three hours without eating. Now, I am going to say 
what I know many will highly disapprove of, and it is this: when 
you are nursing a long and anxious case, and you want to be able to 
" stay " to the end, avoid all stimulants. There is nothing you can do 
such hard work upon, there is nothing that will support you in long- 
continued watching and fatigue, like good, well-made coffee. Stimu 
lants only give a temporary excitement, that passes itself off as 
strength. They injure that clearness of thought, that perfect quie 
tude and recollectedness which are so essential to the good sick-nurse ; 

VOL. IX. 12 


and they tend more than anything else to that miserable " breaking- 
down afterward" of which I have already spoken. Chambers^ 




THE element of all others most sensitive to the changes and im 
pulses of every kind of force is the earth s atmosphere. It is in 
a state of constant disturbance, and seems to be obedient to no laws 
or regularity. Yet, unstable as the winds appear, they are really, in 
their general movements, among the most orderly and effective agents 
in Nature. This is shown in a remarkable manner by their agency in 
impelling the great ocean-streams, and therefore their important in 
fluence on glacial phenomena. In order to make this evident, it will 
be necessary to explain in brief the general laws of their circulation. 

The earth turns on its axis from west to east, and with it rotates 
daily the enormous envelope of the atmosphere. The velocity of rota 
tion at the equator is something over 1,000 miles an hour; at thirty 
degrees distance it is about 150 miles an hour less. In higher lati 
tudes it is still less; and at the poles nothing. Therefore, whenever 
the air moves north or south on the surface of the earth, it will 
carry with it a less or greater velocity of rotation than the places 
it passes over, and will turn into an easterly or westerly wind, 
according as it approaches or recedes from the equator. In the 
region of the sun s greatest heat, the air, rarefied and lightened, 
is continually rising, and cooler currents come in on both sides to 
take the place of the ascending volume. As these side-currents come 
from a distance of about thirty degrees from the equator, they have, 
at starting, an eastward velocity many miles an hour less than the 
localities they will eventually reach. Consequently they will appear 
to lag behind in all the course of their progress to the equator that 
is, they will have a westerly motion united with their north and south 
movements. These are the great trade-winds, blowing constantly 
from the northeast on this side, and the southeast on the other side 
of the equator. 

But the heated air, which has risen in immense volumes in the 
tropics, spreads out to the north and the south in the upper regions, 
passes entirely over the trade-winds, and comes down to the earth in 
the temperate zones. It, however, continues to have the velocity 
toward the east which it acquired at the equator, and, when it strikes 
the slower-moving latitudes, it will be traveling much faster than the 
regions it comes down upon. Hence the westerly winds that prevail 
almost constantly in the middle latitudes. 


This is the normal order of the wind-currents, and that which 
would prevail with nearly perfect regularity if the world were a uni 
form globe of water or of land, and equally heated on both sides of 
the equator. But the continents, and particularly mountain eleva 
tions, produce great disturbances unequal rainfalls and ever-varying 
atmospheric pressures. When also, from any cause, one of the trade- 
winds, notably the southern, is increased in its violence, so as to push 
a tornado-tongue across the dividing line, into the opposite system of 
winds, there is started one of those cyclones, or great circular storms, 
which ravage the tropics and whirl through the temperate zones, 
finally exhausting themselves in the higher latitudes to the eastward. 

The southern hemisphere is at the present time colder than the 
northern, owing primarily to the fact that the winters there are eight 
days longer than the northern, and the sun, during those seasons, 
about 3,000,000 miles farther from the earth than during the north 
ern winters. The difference of temperature, therefore, between the 
warm air that rises at the equator and the cold air that comes in 
from the south is greater than that on the north side. And, as it is 
difference of temperature that produces the whole movement of the 
air-currents, of course the greater strength of that movement must be 
on the southern side. Hence the larger share of the equatorial cur 
rent passes over to the south, and the southern trades are much the 
strongest. In accordance with this theory, it is a matter of observa 
tion that the southern trade-winds reach across the equator and into 
the northern hemisphere in some places ten to fifteen degrees. 

In obedience to and perfect accord with this great system of winds, 
the waters of the oceans move. The strong southeast trades blow up 
from Southern Africa, cross the equator, and drive the waters of the 
South Atlantic into the Caribbean Sea. The lighter northeast trades, 
blowing between North Africa and the West Indies, assist and give 
direction to this movement, which finally impels through the Straits 
of Florida a tide of tropical waters a hundred times greater than the 
outflow of all the rivers in the world. This great flood of thermal 
waters spreads out in the Northern Atlantic, imparting to Europe a 
climate corresponding to countries twenty degrees south of it on 
this sid3 of the ocean. There is, of course, an under-current from 
the Arctics to the equator, exactly compensating this enormous 
northward flow of the surface-waters. The same process and effect 
are repeated in the Pacific Ocean; and the great Japan Stream robs 
the southern hemisphere, for the benefit of our Pacific States, only 
in a degree less than does the Gulf Stream for the benefit of Europe. 

A change in the relative strength of the trade-winds, such that the 
northeast trades would blow across the equator into the southern 
hemisphere, would entirely reverse the course of the warm ocean- 
currents, and carry to the southern continents the heat abstracted 
from the northern. Such a change in the course of ocean-streams has 


unquestionably followed every change in the glaciation of the hemi 
spheres from astronomical causes. The winds and the water-currents 
have always helped to increase the difference in temperature which a 
considerable eccentricity of the earth s orbit must always have pro 
duced between the northern and southern halves of our globe. It 
matters but little which of the two the ocean-currents or the astro 
nomical causes have produced the greater effect, since it is certain 
that they have ever cooperated in one and the same direction. 

On all the tropical seas, between the terminal lines of the two 
trade-winds, there is what is called the belt of calms, a tract averag 
ing from 300 to 500 miles wide, in which, whatever winds there 
may be, are exceedingly light and unreliable. It is here, as we 
have seen, that the air and vapor, heated by the vertical rays of the 
sun, are continually rising and spreading outward in the upper regions. 
It is a complete dividing line between the climates of the two hemi 
spheres. One may be frigidly cold, while the other is highly heated ; 
the only difference being that the calm belt would be removed farther 
into the warmer hemisphere. It now ranges from five to ten degrees 
of latitude on this side of the equator. In this belt of ascending air- 
currents is carried up the greater part of the moisture which after 
ward descends as rain or snow far from the equator. Whatever 
excess of solar heat there may be on the tropics is here absorbed in 
evaporating water. To vaporize a pound of water, according to Prof. 
Tyndall, requires as much heat as to. raise fifty-five pounds of ice- 
water to the boiling-point. It is manifest, therefore, that there must 
have been, during the glacial periods, an enormous amount of sun- 
power somewhere on the face of the earth to have supplied the vapor 
that buried one zone and half of another beneath a solid ocean of ice. 

These facts effectually do away with all the theories, except the 
astronomical, which have been advanced by physicists to account for 
glacial phenomena : one, that our solar system has, during certain 
ages, passed through a colder region of space ; another, that the sun 
in glacial times for some cause failed to supply his usual quantity of 
heat ; and, as a consequence of either, that the glaciation of both hemi- 
st)heres occurred at the same time. Equatorial heat is as necessary 
to a glacial period as polar cold. The one transforms the waters to 
vapor and elevates it to the cloud-spheres, while the other sends in 
the cold winds beneath, which compel the vapors to come over to the 
frozen side and build up the glacier. 

The system of the stratified rocks has been called the great geo 
logical book, with its uncounted leaves overlying each other. Now, 
as it is a part of the glacial theory that each of these leaves or strata, 
at least in greater part, was the work of a glacial period, it is im 
portant for us to examine closely and particularly the course and 
effect of one of these great cycles of 21,000 years or thereabouts. 
We will take, for example, that one of the Post-tertiary glacial which 


was of the greatest extent and severity. Ten cycles back about 
210,000 years ago one of the periods of maximum eccentricity had 
just commenced, the highest since four times that number of years. 
The perigee, or nearest approach to the sun, happened then as now, a 
few days after the winter solstice of our half of the world. It was 
the great summer of the northern hemisphere. But over the south 
ern hemisphere at this time, almost if not quite to the tropics, ex 
tended one vast sheet of ice. It reached far into Brazil, it covered 
Southern Africa, and lapped over on Australia. The marks are all 
there, scored on the solid rocks, to show how it crept up the south 
ern slopes of the hills, and how far it pushed its icy arms. In South 
America at least there is ample proof that the great glacier spanned 
the southern ocean to reach it ; for the furrows on the rock-beds of 
Patagonia are from the pole toward the equator, whereas in any other 
case they would have been from the mountains to the sea. With 
such a state of things at the southern end of the world, with proba 
bly miles .in depth of ice and sea in its higher latitudes, there could 
have been but little water left for the opposite northern regions. 
What is called the Atlantic-cable plateau, between Newfoundland 
and Ireland, was very possibly the north shore of the Atlantic Ocean ; 
and probably no considerable bodies of water existed anywhere north 
of that parallel. The present continents were all mountain table 
lands, far from the vicinity of evaporating surfaces. Like all such 
elevated regions not exposed to specially moist winds, they were 
doubtless dry and arid deserts. However warm may have been the cli 
mate of the north temperate and arctic zones during this their great 
summer, their great elevation and the want of any kind of water-sup 
ply must have made them barren of all forms of animal or vegetable 
life. Consequently there would be, as is notably the case, but few if 
any traces of this part of the great season left in the geological rec 
ords, at least above the present seas. 

Five thousand years pass, and the perigee has advanced to meet 
the vernal equinox. The spring season is now the shortest of all ; 
but, as the autumnal is correspondingly lengthened, the average cli 
mate is about that of the present time. But it is the season of the 
great thaw the breaking-up time of the southern hemisphere, and 
the waters are returning to fill the northern ocean-beds. Impercep 
tibly a permanent white cap begins to fasten itself to the heights of 
the boreal zone, to extend its outline, and to increase its depth. Slow 
ly the lands are being submerged and the oceans broaden out, till 
there comes a time when land and water are equalized in the two 
hemispheres, and the climates are substantially alike. 

Another 5,000 years pass, and the perigee now coincides with 
the summer solstice of the northern hemisphere. This is the po 
sition there of greatest cold : the winters are twenty-eight days lon 
ger than the summers ; and the extra days are in great part those 


of the briefest sunshine. Besides this, the earth is 10,500,000 miles 
farther from the sun in winter than in summer. According to the 
most careful calculations, the temperature of extreme northern re 
gions would be lowered 50, and the mean annual range would be 
fully 60 below zero. This in all probability would carry the isother 
mal line of Labrador, South Greenland, and Iceland (32 Fahr.),down 
to Charleston and the Gulf of Mexico. The late Prof. Agassiz found 
ice-marks as far south as this, though it can hardly be supposed that 
the permanent glacier extended so far. There are, however, abun 
dant signs of the permanent ice-layer all over the State of New York, 
and both east and west of it. The same distinguished authority was 
wont to claim in his lectures that all the beautiful north and south 
lakes of Western New York the Cayuga, the Seneca, the Canandai- 
gua were ploughed out of the solid rock and walled around with their 
clay and gravel hills by advancing and retreating glaciers. The rocky 
summits of New England are found to be grooved and scored all over 
their sides and tops with markings always in nearly a north and south 
direction. They have been traced on Mount Washington to within 
300 feet of the highest point. There can be no doubt that at the time 
we are writing of, about 200,000 years ago, there was one solid ice- 
stratum of immense thickness Agassiz said from two to three miles 
slowly being pushed from the northward by the power of freez 
ing water, over all of New England and the lake States. 

Again the perigee proceeds to meet the autumnal equinox. The 
winter and the summer seasons have again become equal in length ; 
and the sun is just half its time on the north side of the equator. The 
great. ice-shroud is now being gradually withdrawn. Where it abuts 
on deep waters, enormous icebergs are broken off and float away to 
the south, carrying bowlders and soil and whatever it may have picked 
up in its slow course down to the sea. Where it terminates in shallow 
waters or on the land, its effect is to produce such an arrangement 
and diversity of soils and such a peculiar outline of country as no 
other agency could ever have brought about. So different is the na 
ture and work of the great polar glacier from anything with which we 
are familiar at the present day, that it has seemed to me to require a 
few words of more particular description. 

As is well known, the glacier is an accumulation of many winters 
snows consolidated by pressure into a clear blue ice. In this condi 
tion it manifests the peculiar property of viscous bodies it is in con 
tinual slow motion in the direction of least resistance. Whether it is 
by the expansion produced by the repeated thawing and freezing of 
water in its interstices, as Agassiz claimed, or whether by the press 
ure of the mass and glacial regelation, which is the constant freezing 
together of ice-surfaces in contact, after breaking under unequal press 
ures, or crushing against obstacles, which is the theory of Prof. 
Tyndall, or whether by both causes combined, certain it is that large 


bodies of ice not only flow like a heavy lava-stream, conforming them 
selves to all inequalities of the surface, but they also scrape along in 
solid mass, as if pushed by some irresistible force from behind. 
Mountain-glaciers show both motions. But the great polar glacier, 
extending over comparatively level surfaces, seems to have been 
pushed bodily outward from its fixed polar base, and to have moved 
almost entirely under the mighty impulse of expansion. The parallel 
scratches and furrows* which, in our hemisphere, mount straight up the 
north sides of mountains ; the worn and rounded appearance of those 
sides and of the summits, as compared with the rough, unsmoothed 
southern slopes ; the erratic blocks, or some peculiar specimens like 
the native copper of Lake Superior, carried almost directly south for 
scores or hundreds of miles, over heights, and even over arms of the 
sea all show conclusively that the great glacier pushed its meridional 
course over all obstacles and to long distances. 

Imbedding in its under surface the grit and gravel on which it 
froze, this mountain grindstone grated and ground the solid rocks 
over which it passed into the various materials of soil. Sand and 
gravel were the products from granitic rocks and sandstones, clay 
from the slates and shales, and loam from the softer lime-rocks. But 
the most striking effects which the polar glacier produced were the 
long ridges of gravel and bowlder-clay hills which it scraped up as it 
advanced, and left at the end of its journey, or at each halting-place 
of its retreat. For it must be borne in mind that the glacier was still 
pushing southward all the time that it was, on the whole, retreating. 
These terminal moraines are either the promiscuous gatherings of clay 
and bowlders and earths of all kinds, or, if they have been subjected 
to the sorting influence of moving waters, they are gravel hills with 
sandy bases, and clay flats extending usually to the southward of 
them. They run in somewhat parallel courses easterly and westerly, 
sometimes hundreds of miles. Great numbers of these concentric 
ridges may be counted in Western New York, between the long Lake 
Ontario ridge and the lake hills of the south part of the State. Sev 
eral cross the New England States, one running along the coast of 
Maine, and westerly through the White Mountains. In addition to 
these are the lateral moraines, running in an opposite direction. 
These were, some of them, pushed out at the sides by outstretching 
arms of the glacier ; others were formed by streams running down 
through breaks or fiords in the melting -ice-sheet. So extensive and 
so marked are the traces of the great polar glacier over all middle 
latitudes, both north and south, that it may truly be called the great 
landscape-gardener of the temperate zones. 

But it is natural to conclude that, if there has been one glacial era 
caused by astronomical cycles, there must also have been others in 
earlier geological times. And, as we turn back the pages of the great 
earth-book, we find therein recorded the evidences of the vicissitudes 


of climate which we thus anticipate, but, if we mistake not, in contin 
ually-lessening force and extent the farther back we go. For, long 
ages previous to the recent glacial epoch, through all the Tertiary era, 
the fossil plants and animals indicate the prevalence of a warm and 
genial climate over the greater part of the globe. Then come the 
chalk-beds of the Cretaceous period, in which are frequently found 
water-worn blocks of granite and aggregations of pebbles, proving 
that then, as now, the iceberg floated down from the north over seas 
that were quietly depositing the chalk-shells. Still older is found a 
long series of secondary strata, the Oolite, the Lias, and the Trias, 
which were deposited in at least sub-tropical climates. They are the 
burial-grounds of the enormous saurian reptiles that once had an age 
all to themselves in the world s chronology. Their remains have 
been found within a thousand miles of the north-pole, thus proving 
that warm seas covered every zone. 

Between the great divisions of Secondary and Primary in geology, 
there lies a stratum found only in the higher half of the latitudes, and 
known as the Permian or New Red Sandstone. The scanty life-forms 
found in it, and the coarse grit and angular bowlders of which it is 
composed, evince the well-known glacial action. Geologists generally 
think that there elapsed between these great divisions a very long 
period of time in which, excepting the sandstone, but little was done 
one way or another to build up the crust of the earth or leave a mark 
in its records. This doubtless indicates periods of very small eccen 
tricity. Such periods did occur, according to Mr. Croll s calculations, 
immediately before and after the great eccentricity of 850,000 years 
ago, in which we may perhaps conjecture the New Red Sandstone to 
have been formed. 

Previous to this age were the long Carboniferous periods, during 
all of which a warm and moist climate prevailed over all lands that 
have yet been explored. Below the coal-measures are found again 
the grits and bowldery conglomerates of the Old Red Sandstone, 
which, with great paucity of organic remains, would imply the alter 
nations of somewhat glacial climates. The Silurian, Cambrian, and 
Laurentian systems preceded the Old Red in the order named, and 
reach back to the dawn of life on the earth. These formations are 
of vast thickness, and were deposited at the bottom of warm seas in 
all parts of the world. 

It cannot be denied that, as we go back in the geologic records, 
we find more and more the evidences of greater heat and a more 
equable climate. It is certain that the astronomical relations which 
we have pointed out the revolutions of the orbital points and the 
alternations of great and small eccentricity have never ceased to 
exist Therefore, if the world had been subjected to only the same 
fiolar heat in ancient as in recent periods, there must have been re 
peated glacial epochs ; and we should find the bowlder, and the un- 


sorted drift, and the scratched and polished rocks, all through the stone 
presentations. But very few, if any, such evidences have been found. 

Again, for a warm and exuberant climate to extend into the arctic 
zone, there was necessary one of those great summers of considerable 
eccentricity, without the excessive drain age, which an unusually large 
accumulation of ice in the opposite hemisphere would necessitate. 
Each summer cycle of coal forests, or of reptile monsters, implies, 
not only a long visit, and a high evaporating power of the sun, but 
also the addition, to the opposite polar regions, of a weight of ice 
only sufficient to draw the waters from a small part of the low and 
flat lands of the warmer hemisphere. We have seen that periods of 
warm, perhaps even tropical climates in polar latitudes, intervened 
between the great winters of the last glacial epoch. But they have 
left scarcely a trace in the strata. They were the nearest approach 
possible, with the sun-power of recent times, to the conditions which of 
old brought out such a profusion of animal and vegetable life. But 
the only result in the later periods was, that the earth was unbal 
anced. All the waters were either turned into ice, or were following 
after it toward one of the poles. One side of the world was a frozen 
waste, while the other was a burning waste. 

I think we cannot avoid the conclusion that the sun shone with a 
far intenser power on the Carboniferous swamps and the Oolitic shoals 
than on the gravel-hills of the Drift ; that the oceans of early times 
were wider and warmer than now, and circulated more freely between 
the tropics and the polar seas ; and that the heated and moisture- 
laden atmosphere retained the heat and equalized the temperature 
between the equator and the poles far more than at present. 

With these conditions, that is, with a greater sun-power and a 
considerable eccentricity of the earth s orbit, I can conceive a rational 
explanation, that which I have not yet seen in the books, of the for 
mation of the coal-layers, alternated as they always are with marine 
deposits. These alternations are sometimes very numerous. There 
are as many as sixty distinct veins of considerable thickness, one 
over another, in the coal-mines of South Wales, as also of Nova Sco 
tia. There must have been, in that case, sixty periods of dry land, 
each of sufficient duration to grow many forests, and each followed 
by a long-continued submergence, in order that each layer should be 
come fossilized, and buried beneath a shale or a limestone, which 
could only have formed in the depths of a quiet sea. The books say 
there were so many upheavals, and a like number of subsidences, alter 
nating with each other. As if Old Earth had bent her back, for her 
load of pit-coal, threescore times among the Welsh hills, and again as 
many more at Halifax. It is a far more reasonable explanation, that 
each considerable layer of coal indicates a cycle of long summers, 
and the withdrawal of a moderate depth of the oceans from one hemi 
sphere to the other, by reason of moderate accumulations of ice in 


polar latitudes, and the return, again, of the waters after 10,500 
years. In this way, and in no other that I can conceive of, can 
be fairly explained the constant mixture and alternations of terres 
trial and marine relics, all through the fossil-bearing formations, 
and the hundreds, if not thousands of different and distinct strata 
which are found lying one above another. 

Whoever, even cursorily, studies the phenomena of geology, must 
be impressed with the enormous length of time it has taken to arrange 
the terrestrial substructure, and prepare it for the higher forms of 
life. Even the comparatively recent period of the Bowlder Clay, 
which laid out the grounds of the present area of civilization, dates 
back for its commencement, as we have seen, probably 200,000 
years. If it might be assumed that the Permian or New Red 
Sandstone was formed during the next previous period of extraor 
dinary eccentricity, which was 850,000 years ago, then the Devo 
nian or Old Red Sandstone would come in, very appropriately, at 
the next anterior era of extraordinary focal distance, which occurred 
2,500,000 years back. The Carboniferous period, which came be 
tween these two, could not have been formed in less than 1,000,000 
years, as most geologists concede ; and by calculations previously 
indicated, those sixty Welsh layers of coal, if there are that many, 
divided oif by marine deposits of considerable thickness, would have 
consumed 1,250,000 years. 

The average thickness of all the strata that lie above the Old Red 
Sandstone is not far from two miles. But this formation is itself, in 
many places, two miles thick. And the lower Primary systems will 
add at least ten miles to the vertical measure of the fossil-bearing 
rocks. It is estimated that "the fossiliferous beds in Great Britain, as 
a whole, are more than 70,000 feet in thickness ; " and many that are 
there wanting, or nearly so, elsewhere expand into beds of immense 
depth. There are certainly fifteen miles deep of strata to be account 
ed for the slow accretions of the ages mainly ocean-sediment that 
has come down from the wear and washings of the solid rocks. It 
would be by no means a bold assumption to say that 20,000,000 years 
had elapsed since the eozoon first built its reefs in the warm Lauren- 
tian seas. 



rpOOLS with cutting-edges are not only numerous and varied in 
JL form, but they are also varied in the purposes for which they 
are formed, and in the mode of using. Hence no very precise state 
ment of what is generally meant by a "cutting-edge" can well be 
1 From a lecture delivered before the London Society of Arts. 


given. Three classes, however, of such tools may be marked out, and 
into one or other of these it is probable all those tools which can 
properly be defined as tools with cutting-edges may be arranged. 

A first class will comprehend tools which meeting the work at a 
particular angle continue the path of each portion of the edge in the 
same straight line. Axes, adzes, gouges, chisels, and planes (as ordi 
narily used by carpenters), belong to this class. Such tools are brought 
into action either by impact or by direct thrust. The adaptation of 
machinery to tools in this class is easy, because the cutting-edge has 
to describe only a straight line, and this done once, if the place of 
application be removed, a repetition of impact or thrust in the same 
direction will suffice. 


A second class will comprehend tools which, while as a rule retain 
ing the angle at which they are applied to the work, the path of any 
portion of the tool is not a straight but a curved line. Tools of Class 
2 are seldom acted upon by direct impact, or simple thrust. To adapt 
them to machine-work requires either a compound motion in the tool, 
or a motion compounded of the tool and work. When used as handi 
craft tools, this compound motion is derived from the muscular ac 
tions of the body of the workman, or the mechanical contrivances of 
construction in the tool. Knives, shears, razors, and saws, belong to 
this class. And to this class belong those tools in which what are 
mechanical contrivances for causing a " draw cut" are introduced, e. g., 
certain garden and pruning shears, also, hay and bread cutting knives. 
There is a motion in the human jaws which gives to the cutting 
teeth this " draw cut," and so they separate what is between them as 
draw-cut scissors might do. Indeed, all tools in this class operate 
most efficiently when acting upon the " draw-cut " system. 

Hence, while certain of the human teeth belong to Class 1, others 
belong to Class 2. The contrivance in the jointing of the lower jaw 
to the upper in man is a compound one, adapting itself to three 
motions, one or other of which is found in many tools. There is up- 


and-down motion, enabling certain of the teeth to cut meat as nippers 
do. There is also a backward-and-forward motion, producing a saw 
or file like operation, and there is a lateral or side motion, producing 
such a result as that of grinding. It is probable that, from observa 
tion on the action of the teeth, the " draw cut," so essential to the 
perfection of tools that really cut, has been suggested. 


Class 3 will comprehend those tools in which rotation is more 
usual than rectilineal motion. The tools in this class are constructed 
on principles allied to those in the two former classes. All drilling 
and boring tools belong to this class. 

The action of tools with cutting-edges in Class 1, being the most 
simple, had better be first considered. As axes and adzes belong to 
this class, and as the structure of habitations probably led our ances 
tors to the formation of tools, doubtless that form of cutting-instru 
ment which most commended itself to these primitive artificers would 
be the first to be constructed. Passing by the very early form, we 
may commence with a consideration of the edge of the axe or adze, 
when that edge became part of a constructed implement, and not a 
mere piece of sharp-edged flint. The construction essential to the 
tool is a handle, or, as it is called, a " helve." The shape of this helve, 
and the mode in which the head or metal of the axe is attached to it, 
are well worthy of some preliminary attention. 

Perhaps here may be drawn the distinction between narrow and 
broad axes and hatchets. Axes are tools to be used with both hands ; 
they have long handles, and may be swung as sledge-hammers. 
Hatchets are to be used with one hand, have short handles, they are 
much lighter and thinner than axes, and are employed more in the 
trimming than in the hewing of timber. Both narrow and broad axes 
are employed in forestry, the woodman s choice being affected by the 


size of the timber and the character of the fibre. A hatchet is handled 
with the centre of gravity nearer the cutting-edge than the line of the 
handle ; an axe with the centre of gravity in the line of handle pro 
duced. Of this, however, more hereafter. 

The mode of attaching a handle to an axe in the bronze age is 
very instructive to us. The illustrations are suggestive enough, and 
need only a passing remark. It will be observed that for the pur 
pose of handling, some of these axes are socketed, others wedge- 
pointed. The socketed ones were evidently handled as we handle 
socketed chisels. There is, however, one peculiarity, and that worthy 
of consideration. These bronze hatchets have in many instances a 
semicircular, ring-like projection (see Figs. 4 and 5), the object of 
which was for a long time a puzzle, but the suggested mode of 
handling the implements, if correct as seen in the diagram, points 
to a knowledge of directions of tension and of pressure, which engi 
neers at the present day cannot but admire. If any one has ever 
struck a common hatchet to any great depth into timber, and care 
lessly endeavored to loosen it by raising the extremity of the handle, 
he may have found the handle separate from the metal near the junc 
tion of the two. Now the withe, or lashing, shown in this bronze in 
strument, has been put, as we should put it at the present day, in 
order to strengthen the connection at this, the weakest part. 

FIG. 3. FlG - 4 - 

Figs. 3, 4, 5, are examples of the modes of handling these ancient 
bronze hatchets. Fig. 3 is the most primitive. Fig. 4 and Fig. 5 
illustrate the mode adopted to strengthen by tension-cords the weak 
est part of the handle. A remnant of this tension-cord is probably 


seen in the increased depth now given to the handle, where it enters 
the eye. It will be noticed that Fig. 5 is socketed as a carpenter s 
heavy mortising-chisel. The commendable pride of these prehistoric 
workmen in the beauty of their tools may be inferred from the orna 
mentation of these bronze axe-blades. 

When we pass from the tool and its contrived handle to the mode 
of using, and the purpose for which it has been constructed, we find, 
as a rule, a cutting-edge formed by two inclined surfaces meeting at 
an angle, the bisecting line of which passes through the middle of the 
metal. It is very apparent that the more acute this angle is, the 
greater, under the same impact, will be the penetrative power of the 
axe into the material against which it is driven. This supposition 
very soon needs to be qualified, for suppose the material offers a great 
resistance to the entrance of this edge, then the effect of the blow, 
upon the principle that action and reaction are equal, will react upon 
the edge, and the weakest, either edge of axe or object struck, must 
yield. Here, then, primitive experience would be obliged to qualify 
the simple tool in which the edge was keen and acute, and would nat 
urally sacrifice the keenness and acuteness to strength. 

When early uses of the axe are considered, it will be noticed that, 
even in fashioning with an axe or adze the same piece of wood, differ 
ent conditions of edge are requisite. If the blow be given in the direc 
tion of the fibre, resistance to entrance of the edge is much less than 
in the blow across that fibre. So great, indeed, may this difference 
become, that while the axe in Class 1 seems in all respects a suitable 
tool, yet as the attention of the workman passes to directions inclined 
to the fibre at an angle of more than forty-five degrees, he will be in 
duced to lay aside the tools in Class 1, and try those in Class 2 ; for 
he will have found that while in the one direction of the wood the 
edge of his axe continues sound and efficient, yet a few blows on the 
same timber at right angles to this direction have seriously damaged 
the perfection of the edge, whatever may be the angle at which the 
faces meet which constitute the edge. 

These remarks apply only to tools used in dividing materials, and 
not to tools used in preparation of surfaces of materials. This pre 
liminary consideration prepares us for the different circumstances 
under which these two classes of tools may be respectively used. 
And as the contrast of the effect of the same tool under different cir 
cumstances in the same substance is considerable, great also is likely 
to be the contrast between the edges of the tools and the manner of 
using them, e. g., the axe, which is the proper tool in the direction of 
the fibre, is operated upon by impact, while a saw, which is the proper 
tool across the fibre, is operated upon by tension or thrust, but never 
by impact. 

The mode in which the axe is used will explain why it is unsuited 
for work across the fibre. The axe is simply a wedge, and therefore 


arranged to cleave, rather than to cut, the wood. Now, a calculation 
of the pressure necessary to thrust forward a wedge, and the impact 
necessary to cause the same wedge to enter the same depth, would 
explain why (regarded as a wedge only) the handle proves an import 
ant adjunct to the arm of the workman. Any one may test this by 
using an ordinary-handled hatchet on a soft straight-grained wood, 
or he may take a small axe with a straight and not a curved edge ; 
let it rest upon a lump of moderately soft clay. Add weights until it 
has sunk to any decided depth, then take the axe by the head, and 
by pressure force the edge to the same depth. Next, hold the axe by 
the handle, first at, say, one foot from the head, then at two feet, then 
perhaps at three feet, and give blows which seem of equal intensity, 
and mark the depth. Thus a practical testimony to the value of a 
handle will be borne by the respective depths. 

A few words about the motion of the hands and the handle they 
grasp ; and then a consideration of the curves given to the cutting- 
edges of axes, adzes, etc. ; also to the wedge-like sections of the edges. 
These will be all that can now be considered. 

The motions of the hands on the handle of an axe are similar to 
those of a workman on that of the sledge-hammer. The handle of a 
properly-handled axe is curved, that of a sledge-hammer is straight. 
For present consideration this curvature may be overlooked, although 
it plays an important part in the using of an axe with success and 
ease. If the almost unconscious motions of a workman skilled in the 
use of an axe be observed, it will be noticed that, while the hand far 
thest from the axe-head grasps the handle at the same or nearly the 
same part, the other hand, or the one nearest to the head, frequently 
moves. Let us follow these motions and consider the effect of them. 
The axe has just been brought down with a blow and entered be 
tween the fibres of the wood. In this position it may be regarded as 
wedged in the wood, held in fact by the pressure of the fibres against 
the sides of the axe. From this fixity it must be released, and this 
is usually done by action on or near the head. For this purpose the 
workman slides his hand along the handle, and, availing himself (if 
need be) of the oval form of the handle after it has passed through 
the eye of the metal, he releases the head. The instrument has now 
to be raised to an elevation ; for this purpose his hand remains near 
to the head, so causing the length of the path of his hand and that 
of the axe-head to be nearly the same. The effect of this is to require 
but a minimum of power to be exerted by the muscles in raising the 
axe ; whereas, if the hand had remained near the end of the handle 
most distant from the head, then the raising of the axe-head would 
have been done at what is called a mechanical disadvantage. Indeed, 
if a workman will notice the position of the hand (which does not 
slide along the handle) before and after the blow has been given, he will 
find that its travel has been very small indeed. Remembering that 


the power exerted to raise a body is in the inverse ratio of the spaces 
passed through by the body, and the point of application of the power, 
it may thus be obvious how great a strain will be on the muscles if 
the axe-head be raised by the hands at the opposite extremity of the 
handle. Reverse the problem. Take the axe-head as raised to such 
an elevation as to cause the handle to be vertical (we are dealing 
with ordinary axes, the handles being in the plane of the axe-blade). 
Now, the left hand is at the extremity of the handle, the right hand 
is very near to the axe-head the blow is about to be given. The 
requirement in this case is that there should be concentrated at the 
axe-head all the force or power possible ; hence to ease the descent 
would be as injudicious as to intensify the weight of the lift. Con 
sequently, while with the hand nearest to the head (as it is when the 
axe reaches its highest elevation) the workman momentarily forces 
forward the axe, availing himself of the leverage now formed by re 
garding the left hand as the fulcrum of motion, he gives an impulse, 
and this impelling force is continued until an involuntarily conscious 
ness assures him that the descending speed of the axe is in excess of 
any velocity that muscular efforts can maintain. To permit gravity 
to have free play, the workman withdraws the hand nearest to the 
head, and, sliding it along the handle, brings it close to the left hand, 
which is at the extremity of the handle ; thus the head comes down 
upon the work with all the energy which a combination of muscular 
action and gravity can effect. The process is repeated by the right 
hand sliding along the handle, and releasing as well as raising the 

FIG. 6. 

The form of the axe-handle deserves notice, differing as it does 
from that of the sledge-hammer. In the latter it is round or nearly 
so, in the axe it is oval, the narrow end of the oval being on the side 
toward the edge of the axe, and, more than this, the longer axis of 
the oval increases as the handle approaches the head, till at its en 
trance into the. head it may be double what it is at the other extrem 
ity. It often has also a projection at the extremity of the handle. 
The increasing thickness near the head not only gives strength where 
needed, as the axe is being driven in, but it also supplies that for 
which our ancestors employed the thongs as illustrated in Figs. 4 and 
5. There is, too, this further difference in a sledge-hammer more or 
less recoil has to be provided for, and the handle does this ; in the 
axe no recoil ought to take place. The entrance of the axe-edge is, 


or ought to be, sufficient to retain it, and the whole of the energy 
resulting from muscular action and gravity should be utilized. The 
curvature, too, of the handle is in marked contrast with the straight 
line of the sledge-hammer handle. The object of this curvature is 
worthy of note. In my hand is an American forester s axe. The 
handle is very long and curved. If, laying the axe-handle across my 
finger where the head and handle balance, I place the blade of the axe 
horizontally, you may notice that the edge does not turn downward ; 
in fact, the centre of gravity of the axe-head is in the horizontal 
straight-line prolongation of the handle through the place where my 
finger is. Now, in sledge-hammer work the face is to be brought 
down flat, i. e., as a rule, in an horizontal plane. Not so with the for 
ester s axe : it has to be brought down at varying obliquities. If, now, 
the hewer s hand had to be counteracting the influence of gravity, 
there would be added to him very needless labor ; hence the care of a 
skilled forester in the balance of the axe-head and the curvature of 
the handle. 

We must now consider the form of the cutting-edge as seen in 
the side of the axe. It is often convex. The line across the face in 
Fig. 7 indicates the extent of the steel, and the corresponding line in 
Fig. 8 the bevel of the cleaving edge. It will be noticed that the cut 
ting-edge in each case is curved. The object of this is to prevent not 
only the jar and damage which might be done by the too sudden 
stoppage of the rapid motion of the heavy head in separating a group 
of fibres, but also to facilitate that separation by attacking these fibres 
in succession. For, assuming that the axe falls square on its work 

FIG. 7. 

in the direction of the fibres, a convex edge will first separate two 
fibres, and in so doing will have released a portion of the bond which 
held adjoining fibres. An edge thus convex, progressing at each side 
of the convexity which first strikes the wood, facilitates the entrance 
of successive portions from the middle outward. If the edge had 
been straight and fallen parallel to itself upon the end of the wood, 
none of this preliminary preparation would have taken place ; on the 
contrary, in all probability there would have been in some parts a 

VOL. IX. 13 



progressive condensation of fibres, and to that extent an increase in 
the difficulty of the work. 

The equally-inclined sides of the wedge-form of edge hitherto 
alone described as belonging to axes, and the equal pressure this form 
necessarily exerts upon each side if a blow is given in the plane of 
the axe, suggest what will be the action of an axe if the angle of the 
wedcre is not bisected by the middle line of the metal. Assume that 

O / 

one face only is inclined, and that the plane of the other is continu 
ous to the edge, then let the blow be struck as before. It will be 
obvious that the plane in the line of the fibres cannot cause any sep 
aration of these fibres, but the slope entering the wood will separate 
the fibres on its own side. Suppose a hatchet sharpened as pre 
viously described, and one as now described, are to be applied to 
the same work viz., the cutting from a solid block the outside ir- 

FIG. 9. 

FIG. 10. 

regularities say to chop the projecting edges from a square log and 
to prepare it for the lathe. It may be briefly stated that the hatchet 
described in the second case would do the work with greater ease to 
the workman, and with a higher finish, than the ordinary equally-in 
clined sides of the edge of the common hatchet. Coach-makers have 

FIG. 11. 

much of this class of hatchet-paring work to do, and the tool they 
use is shaped as in Fig. 10. The edge is beveled on one side only, 
and, under where the handle enters the eye, may be noticed a piece 
rising toward the handle ; on this the finger of the workman rests in 
order to steady the blade in its entrance into the timber in the plane 


of the straight part o/ the blade, and to counteract the tendency of 
the wedge-side pressing the hatchet out of its true plane. 

ON ADZES. Those whose business requires the forming of lengths 
of wood into curved shapes, and who rely upon the adze for the prelimi 
nary operation, use an Indian form of adze. In India it is held so near 
the metal that the workman s hand touches the metal. He accomplishes 
blows chiefly by acting from the elbow. This very general mode of 
holding gives a pretty uniform length to the radius of the swing, hence 
the form of the adze in the plane of the swing is nearly that of the cir 
cle described. The angle of the handle and the adze is very much the 
same as that of the handle of the file-maker s hammer and the head. 

THE TWO-HANDED ADZE. When we look at the adze as used by 
English wheelwrights or shipwrights, we may well shudder to see 
how it is handled, especially when the cutting-edge is taken into ac 
count. The operation, briefly described, is the following : The work 
man stands with one foot upon the wood, this foot being in the line 
of the fibre. He thus assists in steadying (say) the felloe of a wheel. 
From this felloe much of the wood oh which the sole of his shoe rests 
has to be removed. It will be noticed that the long handle of the 
adze is curved the object of this is to permit an efficient blow to be 
given, and the instrument brought to a stop before the handle strikes 
any part of the workman s body ; in fact, caused to stop by the ex 
haustion of its impact energy in and among the fibres of wood to be 
separated. The edge is often so keen as to cut through a horse-hair 
held at one end and pressed against it. 

This instrument is raised by both hands until nearly in an horizon 
tal position, and then not simply allowed to fall, but steadily driven 
downward until the curved metal, with its broad and sharp edge, 
enters near to, if not below, the sole of the workman s shoe, separat 
ing a large flake of wood from the mass ; the handle is rapidly raised, 
and the blows repeated. This is done with frequency, the workman 
gradually receding his foot until the end-flakes of wood are separated. 
It is fearful to contemplate an error of judgment or an unsteady blow. 
William Tell and the apple on his son s head are, in another 
here repeated. 

FIG. 12. 

So skilled do men become in thus using the adze, that some will 
undertake, with any predetermined stroke in a series, to sph 

shoe-sole in two. , f 

CUEVATURE OF ADZE.-Clearly the adze must be sharpened fron 
the inside, and, when the action of it is considered, it is also clear 1 
the curvature of the adze-iron must be circular, or nearly so. 



The true curvature of the metal may be approximately deduced 
from considering the radius of the circle described by the workman s 
arms, and the handle of the adze. 

The edge of the adze is convex (Fig. 12), the projection in the 
middle being so formed for the same reasons as influenced the curva 
ture of the edge of the axe already alluded to. 

The curvature in the blade also serves (though partially) as a ful 
crum, for, by slightly thrusting the handle from him, the workman 
may release such flakes of timber as are over the adze, and yet so 
slightly adherent as not to require another blow. Thus the adze when 
applied lever-fashion discharges its duty as the curvature in the claw 

FIG. 13. 

of a hammer does. Fig. 13 is a gouge-formed adze; a modification 
of this is used in making wooden spouts, and similar hollow work. 

Many of the remarks applied to axes and adzes also apply to pick 
axes. It may suffice to refer to two forms of this tool ; they differ 
not so much in the operative points as in the size and distribution of 
the material. 

The one used by paviors is long and light, and of large curvature ; 
the other, used by stone-masons and quarrymen, is short-handled and 
heavy, much material being concentrated in the head. There is also 
another form of this instrument used on kegs, for the purpose of driv 
ing home the wooden wedges ; in this form there is no point, the tool 

FIG. 14. 

is rather that of an elongated hammer, the ends being provided with 
" panes " of different forms, set off at different angles. Such tools may 
properly be consigned to the class of hammers. 

The pavior s, the mason s, and the quarryman s picks are the three 
to be very briefly considered. The first is properly a lever, and no 


more; its pointed end is for entrance between stones, and then the 
wooden handle and the unemployed elevated arm of the pick are 
used as two lever-arms at right angles to each other ; thus motion can 
be had in two planes for the varying character of the pavior s work. 

Such an employment is never allotted to the stone-mason s pick. 
The object of this is to remove chippings from stone much as the 
single-angled edge of an axe or an adze would do with chips from 
timber. It is, however, pointed and not edged, because stones are not 
fibrous. The weight of the iron head corresponds exactly with that 
of a heavy hammer, and, so far as this particular feature is concerned, 
the considerations in relation to hammers apply. 

There are peculiarities in reference to the points of these tools. 
The whole of the energy of the workmen is expended upon one point 
(in the carpenter s axe or the wheelwright s adze this energy is dis 
tributed over an edge from four to eight inches in length), hence the 
rapid wear of this point, and the necessity not of frequent grinding, 
but of frequent reforging and retempering. Any attempt at grind 
ing up these points would be practically unsuccessful, made as these 
picks usually are, because of the mass of metal required to give that 
penetration resulting from the sudden stoppage of heavy weights. 
The ordinary picks are therefore sent to the smith s to be sharpened. 
For this purpose they must be removed from the handle ; and this has 
suggested forms of eye and handle which might with advantage be 
used with some other tools. 

The axes and adzes hitherto considered have been chiefly regarded 
as tools for the greatest amount of heavy work to be accomplished by 
a workman. They are at one extreme of the scale, the other extreme 
being the removal of such small flakes as to become shavings of vary 
ing thickness. In progressing from great to small, the order would 
be from the axe or adze with its weighted head to a separation of the 
cutting-edge and its necessary metal, and the weight which must give 
the blow. Hence, in this descending scale, we reach the chisel, struck 
by a mallet. Journal of the Society of Arts. 



"XTEITHER the formations nor the phenomena described in this 
-IN paper are peculiar to South Carolina, and the general subject 
has been frequently investigated in other limestone regions. The 
present Writer, therefore, desires merely to offer some results c 
own observation and experience as a contribution to the scientific 1 
erature of the subject. 


In that portion of the State which lies between the Santee and the 
head-waters of the Cooper commences a chain of so-called springs which 
present some exceedingly interesting features. Before describing them 
it may be well to note the surroundings. The face of the country is 
flat, without a single hill worthy the name. The soil is a sandy loam, 
and, being within the thermal influences exerted by the Gulf Stream 
along the entire lower coast-line for fifty miles or more inland, is well 
adapted to the culture of the " long-stapled," " black-seed," or " sea- 
island" cotton, but yields poor crops of corn, and no pasturage. The 
lower bank of the river is always covered by " the swamp," with its 
dense canebrakes and its heavy growth of cypress. The upland is a 
broad and rich belt, dotted with cotton-plantations, and well wooded 
with oak, hickory, gum, and similar trees. Winding about through 
this belt is a high ridge of sandy, barren soil, covered by the long- 
leaved or turpentine pine and a thick undergrowth of " scrub-oak." 
It is in the middle or plantation belt that the " springs " occur. In 
both swamp and pine-land the water is soft, while that of the springs 
is strongly charged with lime, and, unless boiled and iced, decidedly 
laxative. Good pure water can usually be obtained, however, within 
a few hundred yards from " pine-land wells," or " freestone " springs. 
The country abounds in game, especially the swamps bear, deer, 
wild-cats, the gray fox, and other small quadrupeds, with turkeys, 
partridges, woodcock, snipe, and indeed all birds, common to the lati 
tude. No rocks or bowlders are to be found. The springs occur at 
irregular intervals over a space of some thirty miles, at least ; whether 
beyond that distance or not I do not know. They are not properly 
springs, there being no case which I can remember where any bub 
bling or oozing of the water occurs, nor is there any adequate outlet 
from any of the basins ; a small and shallow stream, or " run," which 
is soon absorbed by the swampy soil, being the only way of escape 
for the water, while in some cases, as we shall see, there is absolutely 
no way for it to escape. 

Let us now proceed to examine a few of these basins in detail. 
The most remarkable of them all is on the " Woodboo " plantation, 
about forty miles from Charleston. Walking toward a clump of tall 
cypresses, you suddenly find yourself on the brink of a miniature 
lake, the ground being firm up to the water s edge. An irregular 
basin, about fifty yards long by a dozen wide, is hollowed out in 
the blue limestone-rock which underlies the soil but a few inches from 
the surface, and this is filled to the brim with slightly opaline yet 
perfectly clear water. The bottom slopes abruptly from either side to 
the middle, where it is fully twelve feet deep, and where exists an 
irregular fissure extending the whole length of the basin, and varying 
from two to six inches (apparently) in width. The basin swarms with 
fish of every variety common to the waters of the region, and of every 
size. Schools of fry keep near the edges, hundreds in number, while 


in the deeper water may be seen full-grown perch and bream, catfish, 
black bass, pike, and alewives. Watch the bottom for a while, and 
you will see these fish issuing from the fissure in the rock, the larger 
bass (four to eight pounders) never venturing far from it, and darting 
into it at the least alarm. I well remember a pike nearly three feet 
long which I have often struck with a fishing-cane, but which I never 
could capture. The largest fish will not take the hook, on account of 
the exposure to view; but the smaller bream, perch, and bass, bite with 
great eagerness, and I have often caught from twenty to sixty in an 
afternoon, selecting the best fish by sight, and placing the bait at their 
very mouths. Sometimes the basin is almost empty of fish ; an hour 
afterward enough will be visible to overstock a dozen ponds of equal 
size. By day eels are rarely visible, and you may stir up all the 
patches of grass along the bed without discovering one; at night they 
are frequently caught, the negroes sometimes " gigging " them of the 
largest size. The temperature of the water is the same winter and 
summer, about 62, and the fish bite best in the coldest weather. I 
have examined the sandy margins at all seasons, and have never seen 
a fish-bed in this or any other of the springs. They do not breed in 
them, and indeed could not possibly do so. 

From the lower extremity of this large basin proceeds the " run," 
a shallow, winding stream down which the larger fish could not pos 
sibly make their way. Indeed, I once caught a two-pound bass 
stranded, having essayed the passage and failed. Following this run 
about five hundred yards, we come suddenly on another busin, circu 
lar in form and much smaller than the first. Its greatest diameter 
is probably not over fifteen feet, while its greatest depth, near the 
centre, is fully ten. The bottom descends like a huge funnel, but on 
one side there is a projecting ledge of rock, under which, sloping 
downward in a direction away from the upper basin, is a hole seem 
ingly about a foot in diameter. Out of this hole bass and pike of the 
largest size are seen to emerge, while the upper basin is filled with 
small bream and sunfish, biting readily at angle-worms, and occasion 
ally a large red-bellied perch, a species rarely seen in the basin, will 
dart from under the rock-ledge and seize the bait. The little stream 
is lost at this basin, which has no outlet, but is surrounded by a wet, 
swampy piece of ground. Not far from these basins marl has been 
extensively dug, and one or two beds of greensand have been found, 
but I never knew the hard limestone-rock which forms the bottom of 
the springs to be struck in any of the excavations. 

Proceeding now in a northwesterly direction, we find another of 
these basins on a plantation about two miles off. The ground falls 
suddenly into a little valley about twelve feet deep and six or seven 
wide, at the head of which stands a very old oak-tree, growing on the 
upper level. On the southeast the roots have been exposed by the 
washing of the clay soil, and immediately under them lies the spring. 


This is a basin inclosed by an octagonal brick wall, where, for a cen 
tury or more, the washing of the plantation and other such matters 
have been performed. Directly under the oak-tree is a ledge of rock, 
over which the w T ater is about two feet deep. It grows more shallow 
toward the " run," where its depth is but a few inches ; the entire 
basin is about thirteen feet by ten. The above-mentioned ledge of 
rock forms the roof of a cave-like aperture some eighteen inches high 
by three or four feet wide, into whose dark recesses the eye cannot 
penetrate, the bottom sloping away in a northwesterly direction under 
the hill which sustains the old oak. Schools of minnows frequent the 
shallow part, and hide in the water-grass ; stir this grass with a cane 
or stick, and occasionally you may frighten out a small bream or sun- 
fish, but very few fish of any sort are seen in the shallow basin, and 
these few refuse the most tempting bait. Now, the proper rock-basin 
here lies just in front of the cavernous opening, and is some six feet 
deep, but scarcely four in diameter. Drop your line there, and, if all 
is quiet, in a moment your float will dart diagonally down under the 
rock, and you may draw out a yellow-bellied perch, a blue bream, or 
a sun-perch of half a pound weight. Look in, and you will see huge 
bass lying with their heads only visible at the opening, or flashing 
their silvery sides as they turn into its unknown recesses. I once 
detected a pair of white eyes peering from the grass at the mouth of 
this cavern, and, dropping my bait just in front of them, was aston 
ished at hooking an enormous mud-fish; this fish must have weighed 
five pounds, and he carried several yards of tackle right into the 
bowels of the earth, whence it soon emerged minus hook and lead. 
The "run" to this basin is not more than three inches deep any 
where, and sinks entirely into a quaking bog some hundred yards 
from its source. No fish over an inch long could swim seventy yards 
from the basin, and there is no communication whatever with any 
other water. 

Leaving the "Pooshee Spring," we now ride a little to the east of 
north, and, at the distance of about two miles, we reach " Moore s 
Fountains," the most remarkable of the group. Crossing a little 
" bay " in the pine-land, you notice under your feet a miniature Natu 
ral Bridge, a span of rock about six feet wide covered with earth, and 
a little hole full of clear water on either side. Walking among the 
pines about a hundred yards to the right, you reach the " Fountains," 
six or seven holes in the ground, the largest of which is about five 
feet by eight, and in general character like the larger basins before 
described, but much more shallow. All these holes contain large 
numbers of small perch and bream, which bite readily in the winter, 
but are hardly worth catching. A little to the right of them used to 
stand two large twin-pines, and directly between their roots was a 
hole not more than two feet in diameter, and which you could not 
detect until you stood on its very edge. (I use the past tense, as the 


trees may have fallen in the ten years since I stood beside them.) 
This hole seems to go sheer down into the earth, and I have never 
been able to sound its depth with the longest fishing-line or rod 
which I had with me. Setting my float about ten feet deep, however, 
and " bobbing " into it by hand, I have caught, from between those 
trees, from thirty to sixty good-sized bream and perch of different 
species, in the course of two hours. The float w T ould go straight 
down, as if the fish were descending into the bowels of the earth. 

The next spring of which I know the existence is at " The Rocks " 
plantation, some twelve miles away, and the last of the chain is the 
famous "Eutaw Springs," where a battle was fought during the 
Revolution. At the latter place there are two openings, some dis 
tance apart, and tradition says that an Indian once dived into one 
and emerged from the other. I do not know whether fish are caught 
in these or not. No connection has ever been traced between these 
springs, or fountains, and the neighboring rivers, either of which 
the Santee and the Cooper is many miles away. Here, then, is the 
proof of a subterranean stream, or more probably lake, inhabited by 
fish in immense numbers, and of the same species found in the neigh 
boring waters. These fish have perfect eyes, and differ in no respect 
from their fellows of the ponds and rivers, except that they invariably 
present that bright, clean appearance characteristic of fish taken from 
pure, clear water. They must pass freely through the whole course 
of the underground caverns, for, were all the open basins put together 
in one, it would not afford food or breeding-space for one hundredth 
part of the number found in any one of them, and they must live 
most of their time in utter darkness, for the little openings at which 
they appear are few in number and many miles apart. The indica 
tions seem to be that this enormous subterranean cave or water-course 
is hollowed out through a narrow stratum of limestone-rock which 
winds its way in a southeasterly direction; but it may be of far 
greater extent. Near Pineville, some ten miles from the nearest 
spring, and considerably off the course, there is a certain spot in the 
public road where the sound of the horse s feet is precisely like the 
noise made in crossing an earth-covered bridge, and tradition tells of 
treasure buried there in Revolutionary times. The water in this sec 
tion shows no lime, nor indeed does it anywhere except in the springs 
themselves. The negroes of the region have invested these springs 
with a supernatural interest, peopling them with water-spirits known 
as " Cymbees," resembling in their imaginary characters the Undines 
and kelpies of the Old World. 




WHILE we know that only Infinite Intelligence could reduce the 
entire phenomena of the universe to mathematical expression, 
it affords an observer constant surprise to find primitive laws of 
order and number recur again and again amid the infinite variety of 

The spectroscope would seem to indicate that the elements of our 
present chemistry are really very complex structures, yet we find 
them, when grouped in all sorts of proportions as molecules, capable 
of crystallizing in forms of perfect geometrical symmetry, often of 
much simplicity. In botany, where the factors both chemically and 
mechanically are extremely various, we find simple laws obeyed in 
the disposition of leaves, flowers, and parts of flowers ; a remarkable 
instance of which occurs in the growth of leaves on spirally-leaved 
plants. In the first order of them, a leaf is found in |- the circumfer 
ence of the stem, and throughout the series the arcs occupied by a 
leaf are respectively |, |, f , T 5 , / T , and -Jj-, of a circle, the numerator 
and denominator of each fraction being those of the two next pre 
ceding added together. ! 

In the highest plane of Nature, that of animal forms, the condi 
tions fulfilled are too complex to permit any formulation of lines and 
angles, but natural history in its first chapters gives us the habita 
tions of the nautilus and other organisms low in the scale of life, 
which in their beautiful volutes and spirals embody simple geometry. 
So also does the architecture of our common insects, the bee, wasp, 
and spider, which, wonderful as it is, must remain less so than the 
work of the microscopic coral zoophytes, which, while severally living 
and building where it is easiest, yet unconsciously cooperate through 
successive generations to complete a structure of comparatively vast 
proportions and much symmetrical unity. 

These few examples, which might be multiplied indefinitely, may 
serve as bases for the opinion that complex wholes, acting in many 
cases like -simple ones, may be more easily reducible to mathematical 
treatment than might at first view be supposed, from the number and 
variety of ultimate factors concerned in any given problem. Nature 
would seem to act by but few first principles, which she constantly 
repeats in her various fields, and which, combined in different ways, 
yield all her infinite manifestations. The scientific progress of our 
times is marked by the continual absorption of diverse laws into 
higher and more general ones ; thus the forms of force that used to be 
thought distinct entities are now proved to be interchangeable, and 
therefore essentially the same. A minor instance of a like kind occurs 


in the recent investigation of wave-motion. The old notion was that 
the particles in water-waves moved up and down in straight lines, 
but the fact has been demonstrated that they roll in circles having 
a diameter equal to the amplitude of the wave ; this holds of all 
wave-motion, including light, so that the movements of the planets, 
as they turn on their axes and circle round the sun, are conveyed to 
our sight by an ethereal motion of precisely the same kind. 

Although mathematical studies find ample illustration in Nature, 
an exaggerated love of symmetry may be induced by them, causing 
an enthusiast to pass legitimate bounds in au effort to over-simplify 
intricate problems ; thus Kepler attempted to harmonize the orbits 
of the five planets with the boundaries of the five regular solids suc 
cessively contained in each other. Such a vagary, however, could be 
pardoned in the author of the three immortal laws of astronomy. 

In the present stage of knowledge so few of the sciences are ex 
act, that any application of mathematics to the vast and complex 
processes of evolution is only allowable when the laws considered 
would be so powerful, did they work in an open field, that, though 
veiled by many weaker ones, they remain distinctly discernible in 
the salient features of Nature. 

A valid application of this kind is made by Mr. Darwin in his 
theory of natural selection, where he states the tendency of organ 
isms to multiply according to the law of geometrical progression 
a tendency which he shows counts throughout the mazy conflict of 
forces affecting organic life. The purpose of this paper is to trace 
some effects of other such laws, in their theoretical simplicity so ex 
tremely potent, that their results persist through all practical quali 
fications, and so, when shown to account for observed facts, may serve 
as tenable ground for inference and deduction. 

In evolution heterogeneity is a constant measure of progress, hence 
the laws stating the variety of effects producible from given elements 
have a direct interest and value. These are the laws of combination 
and permutation. Combinations, mathematically, are groups where 
the presence and not the position of an element counts for difference 
thus B C A and B A C are the same combination but different per 
mutations. As additions are made to the elements, combinations in 
crease in geometrical progression with 2 as constant factor. Thus 2 
elements yield 4 ; 3, 8 ; 4, 16 ; until, when we reach 63, the number 
of elements in chemistry, we find more than nine quintillions of com 
binations to be possible. This law tends to hold only in cases where 
the particular position of an element in a group is indifferent, as in 
the superimposition of colors in light ; as in the simple molecules of 
chemistry, where, for instance, the result is the same, whether ^H a 
unites with O, or O with IF ; and as in all merely mechanical mixing 
of ingredients in manufacture, as pottery, gunpowder, and so on. Such 
cases are less common in Nature and art than those in whicli definite 


positions are points of difference, as we find in the atomic grouping 
of compound molecules, where the phenomena of isomerism appear ; 
in the order of successive sounds, whether in language or music ; and 
as in the various series in which muscular and nervous forces coordi 
nate in animal movements. In all such cases the multiplication of 
effects tends to follow a law of even greater increase than that of geo 
metrical progression namely, the law of permutations. 

If A B C be elements given, their permutations in groups of 3 are 
(3x2x1), in groups of 2, 6 more, and adding 3 for the elements 
taken singly, 15 is obtained as the number of permutations of all 
kinds. The addition of a new element increases them to 64 (15x4 + 4), 
and so on in a ratio increasing with every additional element, until 
we find that 10 produce 9,856,900 permutations, and but 1,024 combi 

These abstract laws are paralleled by the multiplied results which 
follow in the wake of any important invention or discovery. Forty 
years ago the main arts of representation were five in number sculp 
ture, painting, printing, engraving, and lithography. The art of photog 
raphy, introduced by Daguerre in 1839, and since so beautifully de 
veloped, is continually increasing derivative arts. It is applicable to 
every other main art, and may become an element in new permu- 
tative groups of them. It has already given aid to the sculptor, the 
painter, and the engraver, and in the heliotype and woodburytype 
exhibits relations with lithography and printing; besides, it has added 
to human power in many other ways, has made the stereoscope avail 
able, bringing the natural beauties and artistic treasures of distant 
lands vividly near ; it has aided astronomy in fixing views of tran 
sits and eclipses of brief duration, and in mapping the sun and moon; 
the physiologist has used it to preserve the evanescent exhibitions of 
dissection ; and in observatories it accurately marks the minute move 
ments of delicate apparatus. It limns the interiors of pyramids, 
catacombs, caves, and mines, giving incidental help to archaeology 
and geology ; and, in regions inaccessible to man, pictures the depths 
of the sea. It serves in war and might in peace to aid the topog 
rapher in mapping plans of city and country; in times of siege it 
has reduced correspondence to microscopic limits for carriage in the 
only possible way by birds ; and from year to year this wonderful 
art continues to be applied in new and valuable uses. 

The illustration it affords of the manner in which human resources 
are multiplied by the accession of a new discovery might be repeated, 
were all the applications and results of the steam-engine, locomotive, 
or telegraph, traced in their numerous ramifications. So far from 
these mighty achievements exhausting the conquests possible to man, 
they are merely centres of new circles of power from which he may 
successively penetrate into the ever-boundless regions of the unknown. 

The late Mr. Mill, at a period of great depression in his early life, 


found relief in the charms of music, and strangely enough dreaded an 
exhaustion of it, just as many other people who have not the excuse 
of morbid ailment think that all the greatest possible discoveries have 
been made, and that all the finest things in prose and verse have been 
said. Such notions are denied by the laws which have been stated, 
as exemplified not only in the diversity and might of modern achieve 
ment, but also in the deep relations between the elements of natural 
action divulged by their very multiplication of effects ; the generali 
zations of this age have never been equaled in scope and force the 
persistence of force and the theory of evolution. 

As sciences advance, their essential unity becomes more and more 
evident; methods that at first view would seem utterly unconnected 
are being constantly found to have a secret and helpful family tie. 
The comparative value of various types of bridges has been investi 
gated by submitting glass models duly weighted to polarized light, 
which shows at once the distributions of strain and pressure. A 
common magnetic needle has been successfully employed in finding 
weak places in iron and steel axles by its unequal deflection at such 
points, due to internal heterogeneity in the mass examined. At Paris 
recently an underground pneumatic tube became obstructed at an 
unknown point ; excavation was correctly guided by the adoption of 
an acoustic principle ; a loud sound was made at the tube s entrance, 
and the time occupied before the reflected wave returned was care 
fully noted, from which was inferred the distance traversed by it to 
and from the obstacle. Many instruments at first made for purely 
philosophical study have been drafted into the world s practical 
uses. Applications of the rheostat and Wheatstone s bridge serve to 
locate the oft-recurring breaks in ocean-cables and telegraph-lines, 
and have very lately yielded the marvellous duplex and quadruplex 
telegraphs. The spectroscope, originally directed to the heavens, has 
now found uses on earth of great value; it detects adulteration, 
marks defectiveness in drainage, and points out impurities in water- 
supplies. 1 

1 A proposition in pure mathematics may receive elucidation and extension by an 
illustration taken from optics. In Newton s " Principia," book i., section xii., prop. 70, 
he proves, in a manner very difficult to follow, that a corpuscle placed within a hollow 
sphere, if attracted as the square of the distance by all the points in the concave sur 
face, will remain unmoved wherever placed, as the sums of attraction always balance. 

This may be made clear not only of a spherical surface, but the closed interior of any 
surface whatever, provided it has no reentrant angles, as a pyramid or an obliquely- 
truncated cone. 

For, imagine the corpuscle to be luminous and to be bisected by any plane extended 
so as to cut the containing hollow surface into two parts, it is evident that equal 
amounts of light are radiated by each half of the corpuscle on each of the two parts of 
the surface containing it. Now, these rays diminish in intensity as the square of the 
distance, and so reciprocally correspond with a force emanating according to the same 
law from the surface and affecting the corpuscle. Hence, the area of the surface of any 
hollow body, having no reentrant angles, varies as the square of its average distance 
from any point within it. 


So that, in the tree of knowledge, as the branches grow in all direc 
tions, their offshoots come to touch at innumerable points. 

The multiplication of effects may be traced not only in physics, 
chemistry, and cognate sciences, but also in the chapters of natural 
history and the facts of human life. The organized faculties of an 
animal which are distinctly different may be considered of course, 
with proper, qualification as elements which may be grouped per- 
mutatively in the various actions directed to aid maintenance or pro 
mote safety ; although, in the case of any particular variety of a 
species, a vast discrepancy must exist between the theoretical results 
of the mathematical law and the number of different groupings really 
made, yet, if the discrepancy is tolerably constant in degree in any 
two successive cases, the relations between two such cases may be 
stated by the law with an approximation to truth. Thus if a variety 
of quadrupeds with, say, four distinct and presumedly averaged pow 
ers be taken, at first sight it would seem but one-third better off in the 
struggle for existence than another variety with three several powers ; 
yet the one may have an advantage over the other as great as four 
to one, for the variety of actions possible to the former may cover a 
field four times as great as the others. This aids us in understanding 
why variations in useful rather than those in useless directions tend 
strongly to persist. They do so because of the immense exaltation 
of power that comes with the development of any new faculty, any 
new means of securing a livelihood or escaping danger; and so great 
is this exaltation that even minor degrees of development have an 
appreciable value and tend to become permanent and to increase. 

The effects of the laws under consideration also help to make clear 
why transition periods in organic Nature have been brief as revealed 
in their infrequent traces in such geological records as we possess. 

When new circumstances have demanded the acquisition of new 
powers, or rather the development of dormant ones, the odds have 
been overwhelming against such individuals of a race as have been 
inelastic in the required direction, so that in a comparatively short 
period all that lived knew the new lesson. 

A further corollary which harmonizes with observed facts is that, 
as species progress, an ever-increasing width of gap would separate 
kind from kind, and the highest individual of a kind from the next 
below it. The lowest organisms, monera, have no definite shape ; 
polyps, some grades above them, conform very tolerably to a certain 
outline ; and so on in the scale of life an increasing individuality keeps 
pace with an increasing divergency, until man and the tree mark the 
two great summits of Nature in her animal and vegetal forms. 

Many able students of the theory of evolution stop short at the 
chasm which divides the human climax from the allied primates, and 
hesitate to believe that there can be a common origin for apes and 
the race which has produced a Beethoven and a Raphael ; but a con- 


sideration of the laws which have been stated, and which are closely 
borne out by observation, would lead us to expect just what we find, 
namely, in the processes of development intermediate links would 
drop out after comparatively brief existence between planes of life 
increasingly separated, so that the last difference of power and intelli 
gence would be the greatest of all. 

And, furthermore, the same laws make intelligible the vast gulfs 
we find fixed between our intellectual giants and the rest of mankind, 
so that they form a small solitary band above us all, leaving a mere 
understanding of their mighty works the test of our highest powers. 
A single English dramatist and a single English mathematician have 
probably equaled in scope and excellence of original work, in their 
several fields, all the like labors of their countrymen put together. 

Two other mathematical laws, abstractedly of great power and 
generality, may be noticed in the many phases of evolution, namely, 
those treating of the relations between areas and solids of the same 
form, varying in size. In like plane figures, boundaries increase di 
rectly as like dimensions and areas, as the square ; in similar solids, 
surfaces increase as the square and contents, as the cube of like dimen 
sions. These laws state in an abstract way the economy of aggrega 
tion, whether domestic, industrial, social, or political. The farmer 
profits by them when he takes down costly- fences in enlarging his 
domain ; the ship-builder avails himself of them when he models his 
monster craft which shall carry the cargo of half a dozen small vessels 
at half the expense ; the Broadway architect embodies them in 
his lofty designs, rivaling in a business structure the height of a 
common church-steeple, putting two ordinary buildings on one lot of 

From the time when animals first noticed that two together were 
stronger than two singly, the gregarious instinct has been assisted in 
taking a firm hold on many species from its usefulness in attack and 
defense ; where it is not exhibited, exceptional circumstances prevent : 
for instance, a spider would have nothing to gain by going into part 
nership, for it preys on flies much weaker than itself, and no company 
of spiders, however large, could do battle with a swallow, or a house 
maid armed with a broom. 

Speaking in a general way, such savage tribes of men as have had 
the strongest social feeling, and the largest mutual confidence, have, 
other things equal, had an advantage over less coherent neighbors, 
and so on,untit now modern history deals with national groups fewer 
than ever before, and becoming fewer still. 

In commerce, also, the largest banks, mercantile firms, and facto 
ries, grow continually larger by virtue of the less expense attending 
the management of extensive groups. The costly competition of 
many small manufactories and merchants is passing away before the 
more economical methods of a few strong concerns. Cooperation in 


labor, and in the supply of a community with goods, has succeeded to 
an encouraging extent in Europe, and in some degree on this continent. 

In domestic life, also, the burden of sustaining the usual isolated 
homes is beginning to be thought grievous and unnecessary. The 
constant repetition of the same details on a small scale, in cooking, 
warming, and attendance, is evidently subject to a large discount in 
cost, and increase of comfort, when a number of families combine to 
have a single kitchen, heating-furnace, and corps of servants. Many 
solutions of this problem have been attempted with various success ; 
large houses rented in flats, copied from European models, adorn some 
of the chief streets of New York and Boston, and hotels on all sorts 
of systems are to be found in our principal cities, numbering among 
their patrons thousands of families. It may be reasonably expected 
that in the near future some plan will be arrived at, and widely 
accepted, combining the benefits of individual homes with the advan 
tages of association ; but, for this result, an improvement in our pres 
ent crude-ness of social feelings must take place. Great is the pre 
mium placed on the growth of mutual harmony and confidence, yet 
how slow that growth is ! 

A process analogous to aggregation is that of concentration, which 
marks many of the forms of progress. When a force operates against 
a lesser one of constant amount, concentration multiplies its efficiency. 

If a common furnace s heat is 3,500, and a temperature of say 
3,000 is required to melt iron, then but 500 of 3,500 are available 
for that purpose ; but, when the same quantity of heat is presented at 
4,200, 1,200 of 4,200 may be utilized, an efficiency twice as great 
as the former. Hence the value of such an invention as the hot-blast, 
increasing the intensity of flame: the inert and diluting nitrogen is 
mingled w T ith the oxygen of common air by the feeble force of diffu 
sion ; if they could be cheaply separated, it would mightily enhance 
the value of coal. Steam-engines, as now constructed, rarely yield 
in work more than a tenth the equivalent of heat applied; the chief 
waste is in the exhaust-steam, which, although in immense quantity, 
is of too low a temperature to raise more steam. Any feasible plan 
of concentration is all that is wanted to make the steam-engine more 
powerful; its duty has already been nearly doubled by the use of 
much higher pressures than Watt employed or sanctioned. A pebble 
on a sea-beach may have been exposed to the sun for ages without 
perceptible effect, but the focusing of a lens may reduce it to the 
liquid state in a few moments with no more solar beams than might 
have otherwise idly fallen upon it in an hour. This same principle 
also obtains in the operations of trade and business : the expenses of 
a railroad, steamship, or hotel, are pretty constant, and a certain 
amount of patronage pays them ; beyond this point profits rapidly 
accumulate, and below it so do losses; small fluctuations produce 
large results in the balance-sheet. 


Successive increments of difference in degree may gradually merge 
and become exalted into a difference in kind. A number of pendu 
lums might, if uuresisted, vibrate in an arc forever, but, if on one of 
them the movements of the others are suitably concentrated, its arc 
will gradually increase in amplitude until it becomes a circle. 

This principle of concentration appears in organic Nature in the 
physiological division of labor, and in the adaptation of every organ 
ism to some particular environment which may be to it its field and 
kingdom. Analogy would lead us to suppose that the different duties 
of the brain are performed by special parts. So directly profitable 
has the division of labor been found in manufacturing industry, that 
in many cases it has been pushed to an injurious extreme, for a man 
is stunted in development when all his powers of mind and body but 
one remain unexercised. Specialists in art and science discover that 
their highest excellence can only come with a comprehension of wide 
principles and study in many various fields. 

So far irom concentration being invariably useful, diffusion may 
be a process incident to progress. A lump is soonest leavened by 
leaven distributed throughout it, crystallization proceeds more swiftly 
from separate nuclei than from a concrete mass.- Analogously, the 
best, wisest, and most talented men of a people exert a larger influ 
ence when scattered through it than if gathered into an over-central 
ized capital, where they radiate chiefly on each other. 

In the laws which have been considered thus briefly, it has ap 
peared that their tendencies are continually progressive ; that, while 
the capital of evolution is being increased, so also is the rate of com 
pound interest by which it accumulates. It is now fitting that some 
of the causes should be noticed which reduce these tendencies from 
their theoretical power to the moderate activity we find them really 

A minor and unfavorable sort of natural selection is that made by 
animals not carnivorous when they have a choice of food; they take 
the best to be had, and leave the rest to propagate its kind. This 
residue may be very bad indeed, when the total supply is scanty ; in 
crowded pastures the grazing herds only permit the worst parts of the 
clover to come to seed, and squirrels always first eat the best nuts 
stored in their hiding-places, and any surplus that might germinate 
and grow is commonly of a very poor kind. The acquisition of new 
powers by an animal is usually accompanied by a gradual and injuri 
ous loss of its original ones; neither the omnivorous hog nor the higher 
primates can number readiness in swimming among their resources, 
although their inferior ancestry doubtless could. The introduction of 
machinery is steadily causing us to lose the deftness and dexterity of 
the old, unaided handicrafts, yet never so much as now were knack and 
skill of value, for they are indispensable to the designer and inventor in, 
their work. A highly-cultivated citizen of New York, when he pene- 

VOL. IX. 14 


trates the wilds of the far West, must have an Indian to guide him 
through prairie and forest, for the red-man s perceptions of the phe 
nomena around him remain keen and almost intuitive. 

Modern arts vastly outnumber ancient ones, yet do not include 
them all ; antiquity possessed many, either lost by neglect or by being 
secret with individuals and perishing with them, or perhaps in the ex 
tirpation of small, highly-gifted communities by overwhelming bar 
barous hordes. 

The vast preponderance of mediocrity over exalted talent has al 
ways limited the influence of intellectual greatness, and at times even 
perverted it to confirm the low standard of a community s intelligence 
instead of raising it. A key in metaphor is always something unlock 
ing or unfolding the hidden this refers to but half the business of a 
key it is also used to bind, lock up, and secrete. History furnishes 
many examples of an unusual might of mind permitted, by the lack of 
appreciation for its best work, not only to leave it undone, but induced 
to acquire power by mystifying difficulties instead of resolving them, 
and so to retard progress by an exertion of the very capacity that 
might assist it. 

The individuals of a community rise pretty much together, and the 
voice of circumstances is not so loudly " Be your best," as " Be fit." 
The limit to the practical value of greatness becomes plain if we imag 
ine Kepler, while making a scientific journey, to be suddenly surround 
ed by hostile Sioux. We can believe that the world may not know 
some of its greatest sons, for greatness is known only when allied with 
the talents of publicity and the circumstances of appreciation. 

Truths and suggestions beyond the comprehension of hearers have 
doubtless often been uttered in vain. Our guides in the path of 
knowledge must keep within easy distance if they are to be useful. 
Huyghens, the great Dutch philosopher, clearly propounded the wave- 
theory of light, but it remained unnoticed in his times, to be redis 
covered a century afterward, when the minds of scientific men had 
been prepared to receive it. 

Then, again, the very intensity of appreciation bestowed upon 
genius may be hurtful, in the diversion of men of some original power 
from the development of themselves into the army of mere repeaters, 
imitators, and quoters. Besides, when the leaders of thought and in 
vestigation have erred, as at times they inevitably must, the mistaken 
opinion from the weight of a great name becomes a clog and a barrier. 
Newton s emission-theory of light delayed the true explanation through 
many weary years; and zoology is still suffering from the belief in 
catastrophes entertained in the mighty brain of Cuvier. And, further, 
physiologically, the antagonism of growth and reproduction has left 
the chiefs of men either childless, as Kant, or continued in a puny 
.race, as Cromwell. Talent is hereditary, but genius scarcely. 

Progress is also thwarted by the sub-evolution of evil. In human 


societies, as mutual trust and confidence advance, they are liable to 
be rudely checked from time to time as the rewards of the liar and 
thief temptingly increase. The very perfection of mechanical appli 
ances is used by the burglar and counterfeiter, and only a high de 
gree of educated ingenuity and a world-wide mercantile good faith 
could have made such a fiend as Thomassen possible. The invention 
of new machinery, the manufacture of new chemicals, the extensions 
of mining, and the commingling of increased travel, in their accidents 
and sometimes in their baneful results in common pursuit, render the 
tasks of physician and surgeon more difficult than ever before. The 
complications of modern life are so great and varied, that the moral 
laws do not possess the direct and simple force they had of old ; in the 
surge and vortex of to-day it takes a keen intellect to separate right 
from wrong, and many err because their consciences are not reenforced 
by education for the new exigencies. 

Evolution is underlaid, as is all change, by the greater law of the 
persistence of force, ever holding the even balance through all com 
plexity, maintaining throughout all a just compensation. Every new 
faculty and enjoyment is earned by its equivalent of work, trouble, 
or ill ; with every addition to power comes an addition to wants, to 
labor, and the possibilities of pain. As the stores of the mind increase 
so also do ideals craving satisfaction become higher and wider: ever 
" on the isthmus of a middle state," man is at once a record of the 
past and a prophecy of the future ; limited by his inheritance to defi 
nite acquirement, he yet aspires, by nascent impulses, for such better 
things as only his posterity can ever possess. 



OME time ago my attention was called to two articles on " Hyp 
notism in Animals," in the columns of THE POPULAR SCIENCE 
MONTHLY, in which I became very deeply interested. 

For the sake of those who may have forgotten what the author, 
Prof. Czermak, said in regard to these very curious phenomena as 
observed in fowls, I will briefly describe his mode of proceeding, and 
afterward give.the results of my own experiments. 

And, first, of the crawfish experiment. If a crawfish is held firmly 
in one hand, while with the other " passes " are made along the back 
of the animal from head to lower extremity, the animal will become 
so quieted as to allow itself to be placed in any position whatever, even 
the most unnatural, without once stirring. Among people generally 
1 September and November, 1873. 


this has been called " mesmerism " or " magnetism." Prof. Czermak 
proved that neither magnetism nor mesmerism is active in the pro 
duction of this phenomenon. 

This case is simple enough, that of the fowls is more complex. It 
has been thought that if "a chalk-line" were drawn the length of a 
hen s beak, or from eye to eye across the beak, while held upon a flat 
surface, she would remain perfectly quiet for more or less time when 
the hands were removed. I think this is commonly believed in our 
own country. Here, the chalk-line seemed intimately connected with 
the phenomenon. 

Kircher varied the experiment by erasing the chalk-line. He also 
tied a ribbon around the legs of the fowl, and then removed it ; and 
the hen still remained quiet. According to him the imagination of 
the fowl plays an important part; and he laid great stress on the 
acts of " tying " and " chalking." 

Prof. Czermak does not attach much importance to Kircher s con 
clusions, in his first lecture. But, in his second, he seems to believe 
that the " tying and chalking " exert some slight influence through 
the imagination. He relies mainly, however, on the " stretching 
out " of the fowl s neck. Pigeons gave him more trouble in this re 
spect ; and this caused him to modify his theory to some extent. He 
agreed, however, that after a hen had once been subjected to this 
neck-stretching process, she could be caught and placed upon the floor 
or any other surface, without being again subjected to it ; that is, hold 
her firmly until all struggling has ceased, and she can be placed in 
almost any position without once touching the neck. Here Prof. 
Czermak stops, and from this point my own experiments begin. 

I first repeated many of his experiments on fowls, without using 
chalk and string, and with as successful results. Afterward I varied 
the mode of experimenting. Hens, ducks, cats, and canary-birds, have 
thus all succumbed to this peculiar procedure at my hands, and in 
every instance without my subjecting them once to " neck-stretching," 
except, of course, when I was repeating his experiments. 

My first experiments, since repeated, were made upon some pet ca 
nary-birds when I was quite a child, and knew nothing of this phe 
nomenon. I had three of these little birds, one male and two females. 
These I would often remove from their cage, hold them in my hand un 
til they became quiet, and then place them upon the floor. In this 
way I would often have all three lying out upon the floor perfectly 
motionless. As to whether their eyes remained closec^ or not I have 
no recollection. The male was very wild, and, if not watched care 
fully, would fly from the floor. 

This experiment I have since practised on a canary, and obtained 
the same results as I did when I first noticed the peculiarity. Here 
let me say again that I never touched the head or the neck of the 


When quite a lad, and residing in a Western State, I often observed 
the farmers brought their poultry alive to market, preventing the 
escape of the fowls by tying their legs together. The fowls, whenever 
I saw them, were always quiet. 

Prof. Czermak thought that the stretching out of the neck of the 
fowl caused, in some manner, a " slight mechanical extension of cer 
tain parts of the brain, .... apart from the fear which the animal 
experiences," etc. 1 

Now, since my last experiments I dispensed entirely with all 
" neck-stretching." Prof. Czermak s explanations do not tend to throw 
that light upon the subject which he believed they would; and we 
must look to Kircher for a fuller explanation of this phenomenon that 
of the power of the imagination. 

Those parts, then, which it has been said were necessary to touch 
for the success of the experiment, I have latterly entirely let alone. 

I usually, after catching my fowl, hold it firmly upon the ground, 
floor, etc., as the case may be, until all struggling has ceased. Then 
I remove my hands, making no " passes," nor any more movements 
than are necessary to take them away from the animal. Now I have 
the fowl stretched out before me motionless, and breathing deeply ; 
the eyes are generally open. Some hens are more easily subjected to 
this experiment than others. Tame hens will allow much handling, 
and are hence never good subjects. A very wild fowl is an excellent 
animal upon which to make these experiments. 

As in the cases instanced by Prof. Czermak, so I find different 
fowls must be differently treated. Some require to be held a shorter, 
some a longer time, than others. But this fact is evident, that the 
animal must be held firmly until perfectly quiet. 

It was only the other day, while writing the abote, I visited a 
neighbor s poultry-yard to verify still further my views upon this sub 
ject. After catching a huge Brahma cock, which I had great diffi 
culty in holding, as he was very violent, I held him fast until he as 
well as I knew he could not escape, and then took away my hands, 
lay just as quiet as though my hands were holding him. But his 
eyes were open and his head was somewhat raised from the ground. 
In this condition I placed him in his coop, where he remained in a 
most awkward position upon his side until a hen came along, and 
seemed to assure him of his liberty. 

Thinking that the " stretching out of the neck and bill had simply 
the effect of closing the animal s eyes, I held a duck firmly in one hand, 
and with the other threw my handkerchief over its head. The same 
phenomena resulted, but they were of shorter duration. I next treat 
a little bantam pullet in the same way ; but, being a tame and gentl* 
little creature, I could do almost anything with her. One singula 
feature was that, while upon her back, and the handkerchief over h 


head, she began to sing. She remained very quiet, but only for a 
short time. 

A gentleman told me of a somewhat similar process he employed 
in the West, when he had entrapped in the same box several prairie 
chickens. It being difficult for him to hold more than one chicken at 
a time, he would take one from the trap, hold it until quiet, shake it a 
little, and then lay it upon the snow. Sometimes he would have two 
or three thus lying there with their eyes closed. They would remain 
in this condition long enough for him to secure the whole catch. But, 
if one chanced to open its eyes when he was not looking, it would 
most certainly escape. 

The explanation of all this does not seem difficult. In fact, we 
do not feel obliged to bring forward mesmerism, magnetism, nor even 
hypnotism, as having anything to do with the phenomena. They 
result simply from fear, as any one may easily prove for himself: the 
animal appreciates the power acting on it, and the uselessness of 
resisting the injury or the supposed injury inflicted. Here, of course, 
we must allow animals a certain amount of intelligence for such per 
ceptions. After the animal has made resistance, and finds itself inca 
pable of removing the obstacle, it lapses into quietude, to act again 
only when it supposes the restraint has been removed. 

Hence, Kircher, apart from his "ribbons" and "chalk-lines," or 
" remembrance of chalk-lines and ribbons," is not so far out of the way 
in believing these phenomena to be due to the power of the animal s 
imagination. The same thing, under certain circumstances, is ob 
served in man, and every one must be aware of the power the imagi 
nation often possesses over him. 

In the " charming " of the lower animals by serpents we notice 
similar phenomena. The so-called "charmed animal" cannot move, 
from the fact that it does not believe it can. It has no power of will 
to put into operation those muscles necessary to carry it from danger. 
In other words, it is paralyzed with fear. 

The cat playing with the mouse still further illustrates the same 
principle. The mouse knows he cannot escape, for, at every attempt 
to move, pussy s paw is put gently upon him, and he is pulled back 
within her reach. Hence, after a while the mouse does not move at 
all unless pussy " stirs him up," so to speak, with her paw. 

Hence we cannot see anything very wonderful, after all, in these 
phenomena : they depend wholly and only upon fear, and are but an 
illustration of the power of the imagination among animals, and add to 
the evidence daily accumulating of the possession by the lower ani 
mals of a certain amount of intelligence. 




HEAT and light are physical influences to which even the lowest 
units of living matter respond, whether their mode of lite and 
nutrition is most akin to that of plants or to that of animals. These 
influences act on such organisms, either by stimulating, retarding, or 
otherwise modifying the chemical changes naturally occurring in 
their interior, and upon the existence of which their life depends. 
Where the vital processes of the organism are stimulated by these 
physical agencies, their incidence may, in many instances, become the 
cause of so-called " spontaneous movements." The term, however, 
as applied to movements, is a bad one since all the movements oi 
an organism are alike dependent upon a series of antecedent states of 
contractile and other tissues. There is some sort of foundation, it is 
true, for the popular mode of expression. A movement is not said to 
be " spontaneous " if it follows immediately upon some external im 
pression as a cause ; the term is generally applied where the cause of 
the movement is not distinctly recognizable. In some instances the 
undetected or unconsidered external cause may be the incidence of a 
diffused physical agent such as heat, which, by stimulating the vital 
processes, seems to give rise to spontaneous movements. In other 
cases so-called " spontaneous " movements are to be referred to inter 
nal states or changes, whose origin is even less distinctly traceable, 
to impressions, it may be, which emanate from some of the internal 
organs, and thence are transmitted to ganglia in direct relation with 
some of the organs of locomotion. 

Heat mostly acts on organisms upon all sides alike, so that, 
though it may stimulate their life-processes generally, and, in some 
instances, give rise to movements, these movements are not deter 
mined in one, more than in another, direction. Thus, while heat 
stimulates the " to-and-fro " or the gyratory movements of bacteria, 
and also renders more striking and rapid those changes of form which 
all amoeboid organisms are apt to display, the movements evoked are 
random, and apparently devoid of all purpose. 

It is not altogether similar, however, with the influence of light. 
This agent almost always, and necessarily, falls more on one side than 
on another ; and consequently it often suffices to induce movements 
to be made in definite directions, by the lower forms of life, just as it 
causes definite and responsive movements to be executed by certain 
parts of higher plants, which come fully under its influence. In each 
case the movement, or altered position, is due to some nutritive 
change ; that is, to some alteration, whatever its nature, in the ac 
tivity of the life-processes taking place in the part impressed by the 


light. So that, whether we have to do with the movement of a sun 
flower, or with the locomotions of minute living units, the essential 
mode of production of the movement is probably similar. Of the 
actual locomotions of minute living units under the influence of light 
many instances might be cited ; it will suffice, however, to mention 
the fact that any green zoospores which may have been uniformly 
diffused through the water are very apt, when the vessel containing 
them is placed near a window, to collect on the surface of the water 
at the part where most light falls upon them. Minute animal or 
ganisms are, however, often affected quite differently by this agent. 
They are frequently caused to move away from, rather than toward, 
its source ; so that the creatures thus impressed " seek " the shade 
rather than the glare of sunlight. 

The action of such influences and the production of such move 
ments form the beginnings or substrata, as it were, of other phe 
nomena with which we are now more particularly concerned. The 
unilateral influence of light and the movements to or from its source 
to which it may give rise afford a connecting link between diffused 
causes like heat, which, by affecting the general activity of the vital 
processes in the organisms, may lead to purely random movements, 
and those more localized influences now to be considered, to which 
the various definite or responsive movements of organisms are attrib 

The first, because it is the simplest, of these localized influences to 
be considered is a shock or mechanical impact of some kind, falling 
upon the external surface of the organism. This is the primordial 
or most general of all the modes by which the surface of an organism 
is impressible, and its sensitivity to such stimuli is both in the stage 
of impression and the stage of reaction closely akin to the general 
organic irritability of protoplasm which, indeed, unquestionably 
constitutes its starting-point. This mode of impression, moreover, is 
one which tends to establish a correspondence between the organism 
and the most common events or properties of the medium in which 
it lives and moves. It is consequently the mode of impressibility 
most extensively called into play among all the lower forms of 
animal life. And although the whole surface of an organism, or the 
greater part of it, in one of the simple animals to which we are refer 
ring, may be more or less impressible to shocks or impacts from con 
tact with surrounding bodies, it often happens that such impressions 
more frequently fall upon, and are more readily received by, certain 
appendages situated at the anterior extremity of the animal, in close 
proximity to the mouth. Such specialized parts or tactile appendages 
are known as papillae, setae, tentacles, antennae, or palpi, according to 
the forms which they assume in different animals. 

Why such organs are developed so frequently at the anterior 
extremity of the animal, and in the neighborhood of the mouth rather 


than on other parts of the body, is not difficult to explain. What 
ever the mode by which they are evoked or called into being (and 
the most opposite views may be entertained upon this subject), it 
seems obvious that, if organs of this kind are to be present at all, they 
should occur in situations where they might be put to most use. In 
an animal accustomed to active locomotions, the mouth is, with only 
a very few exceptions, situated on that part of the body which is 
habitually directed forward. The anterior extremity thus comes to 
be the part of the body which is brought most into converse with its 
environment; and, of the diverse objects impinging against it, or 
against which it impinges, some are of a nature to serve the organism 
as food, and some are not. A higher degree of impressibility springs 
up, therefore, in this situation, where the parts are necessarily exercised 
so largely with impressions corresponding with food and with others 
having an opposite relation. It should not surprise us, therefore, to 
find among the lower animals that the most specialized tactile or 
gans are found in the immediate neighborhood of the mouth. Such 
organs may be, and are in fact, not unfrequently both tactile and pre 
hensile ; though this is more especially the case in sedentary forms of 
life, like the hydra, the sea-anemone, or some of the tentaculated 
worms. The tentaculse of the latter animals would seem to be pos 
sessed of an extremely high degree of impressibility, if we are to 
judge by the report of one who devoted much attention to the study 
of this class of organisms the late Dr. Williams, of Swansea. He 
says: "It is not easy, for those who have never enjoyed the spectacle 
of the feat of touch performed by the tentaculated worms, to esti 
mate adequately the extreme acuteness of the sensibility which re 
sides at the extremities of the living threads with which the head and 
sides of the body are garnished. They select, reject, move toward, 
and recede from, minute external objects with all the precision of 
microscopic animals gifted with the surest eagle-sight." 

But it often happens that the solid bodies serving as food are in a 
measure soluble, so that, in animal organisms comparatively low in the 
scale of complexity, some of the tactile structures within or around 
the mouth may undergo a further specialization by which they become 
able to discriminate and respond to impressions of a slightly different 
nature. These parts become sensitive to a more relined kind of con 
tact, such as may be yielded by certain dissolved elements of the food 
substance, whose local action may be attended by some slight chemi 
cal change in the tissue of the organ. Impressions are thus produced 
whereby the " sapidity " or flavor of bodies is appreciated, and such 
impressions gradually become associated with definite related move 

No distinct organ of " taste " or specialized gustatory surface is 
known to occur among invertebrate animals, except in insects and in 
such higher mollusca as gasteropods and cephalopods ; although such 


a mode of impressibility does, doubtless, exist in many other of the 
lower forms of life. Impressions of the two orders already referred to 
more or less distinct from one another are those by which alone 
multitudes of the lowest forms of animal life, such as polyps, medusa) 
and various kinds of worms, appear to hold converse with the outside 
world. Touches and tastes are the names which we apply to the sub 
jective effects of such impressions ; and, though it is impossible at 
present wholly to ignore this point of view, or to use language which 
is not colored by it, I do not now wish to say anything with regard 
to the nature or intensity of the feelings that may be associated with 
corresponding impressions in the lower animals. The reader must for 
the present look rather to the objective effects of these impressions, and 
in so doing he will learn that these become organically associated with 
a nervous mechanism by whose intermediation they are able to evoke 
distinctive movements of a responsive nature. 

Seeing, however, that tactile and gustatory impressions can only 
be made by actual contact of external bodies with the specialized 
parts of an organism, such impressions are not of a kind to excite 
movements in quest of food ; although they may lead to correlated 
movements of parts adjacent to those which. are touched, as when all 
the tentacles of a sea-anemone close round a body that has come into 
contact with some one of them. This effect is due to a radiation of 
the primitive stimulus, and we may see in such a set of actions only 
a more rapid and slightly more complex result than is known to fol 
low the irritation of one of the peripheral tentacles on the leaf of a 
sun-dew. In the latter case the bending of the tentacle actually irri 
tated is slowly followed by the bending of others under the influence 
of an internally diffused stimulus. 

Movements in actual quest of food may, however, be excited in 
other animal organisms by impressions which suffice to bring them 
into relation with more or less distant bodies. The way is paved for 
this result when some portion of the anterior and upper surface of the 
animal, in which aggregations of pigment occur, becomes more than 
usually sensitive to light. A dark body passing in front of such a re 
gion gives rise to certain molecular changes therein, and these molec 
ular changes differing among themselves become capable of exciting 
distinctive impressions in the organism which it gradually becomes 
attuned to discriminate. The power of discrimination in this, as in 
all other cases, is indicated by the organism s capability of responding 
to impressions by definite muscular movements as when the oyster, 
with the valves of its shell apart, instantly closes them if a shadow is 
projected over certain sensitive pigment-specks or so-called "eyes" 
at the edge of its mantle. 

This beginning of visual impressions truly enough shows itself as a 
merely exalted appreciation of tactile impressions ; and, inasmuch as 
such an appreciation of the presence of near bodies would in so many 


instances be quickly followed by a more gross mechanical contact, the 
rudimentary visual impression is, as Spencer says, a kind of " antici 
patory touch." From this simple beginning, in which bodies only 
slightly separated from the impressible foci excite certain general or 
only vaguely specialized impressions corresponding to light and shade 
therein, the organs of sight and their impressibility gradually become 
more and more elaborate. To rudimentary aggregations of pigment 
transparent media are added, which condense the light on these im 
pressible patches, and these media in other organisms are sufficiently 
like a lens to be adequate to form a definite image of an external body 
on the layer of pigment, which, on its other side, is in contact with 
a nerve-expansion communicating with a contiguous ganglion. Nu 
merous simple structures of this kind may exist apart from one another, 
as in many bivalve mollusks, or they may be far more numerous arid 
closely aggregated so as to form such compound eyes as are met with 
in crustaceans and in insects. Or individual ocelli may be perfected, 
as in spiders, or lower Crustacea, though most notably of all among 
the cuttle-fish tribe in which two movable eyes are met with, whose 
organization is just as perfect as that of the eyes of fishes. 

The difference in degree and range of sensitiveness existing be 
tween the simple " eye-specks " of some of the lower worms and the 
elaborate organs existing in the highest insects and mollusks is enor 
mous. The range and keenness of vision become progressively ex 
tended, so that creatures with more perfect eyes are capable of receiv 
ing and appreciating impressions from objects more and more distant, 
and the various actions which become established in response to im 
pressions habitually made upon such sensitive surfaces increase enor 
mously in number, variety, and complexity. The relation existing 
between the keenness of the sense of sight and the powers of locomo 
tion of insects has long been recognized by naturalists. Prof. Owen, 
for instance, thus alludes to it : "The high degree in which the power 
of discerning distant objects is enjoyed by the flying insects corre 
sponds with their great power of traversing space. The few excep 
tional cases of blind insects are all apterous, and often peculiar to 
the female sex, as in the glow-worm, cochineal-insect, and parasitic 

The various actions of insects and of invertebrate animals gener 
ally are, however, found to be easily capable of classification. They 
are, in the main, subservient to the pursuit and capture of prey, to 
the avoidance of enemies, to the union of the sexes, or to the care of 
their young. To such ends are their various motions, whether occa 
sional or habitual, more or less directly related. Nothing is here said, 
however, as to the extent to which such ends are realized by the ani 
mals themselves. 

In vision, as I have said, we have to do with a refinement of the 
sense of touch, whereby the animal becomes sensible of impressions 


produced by " waves " of light emanating from a distance, and is thus 
brought into mediate contact with certain distant objects. A re 
finement of the organs of taste may also occur whereby bodies possess 
ing sapid qualities are capable of impressing organisms still at a dis 
tance. Just as vision, in fact, is, in its most elementary phases, a sort 
of " anticipatory touch," so is smell a kind of anticipatory taste. Yet 
the two cases are not altogether similar. In vision, the contact if it 
may be so termed with the distant body is mediate, through the in 
tervention of ethereal undulations ; while in smell we have to do with 
a case of immediate contact, not with the distant body itself of course, 
but with extremely minute particles which it gives off on all sides. 
An " emission " theory serves to explain the diffusion of odors, though 
it will not hold for the diffusion of light. From what I have said it 
may be inferred that, as regards the delicacy of their respective physi 
cal causes, the sense of smell occupies an intermediate position between 
taste and sight. 

It is regarded as a matter of certainty by naturalists that such 
creatures as spiders, Crustacea, insects, and the higher mollusks, are 
capable of being impressed in some way by odors, and that their 
actions are to a certain extent regulated by such impressions. We 
have, however, no definite knowledge concerning the parts of the sur 
face which in these, and perhaps in still lower organisms, are attuned 
to receive such influences. Although a rudimentary sense of smell 
seems unquestionably to be possessed by such aquatic forms of the 
invertebrata as Crustacea and the higher mollusks, it is, perhaps, a 
sense-endowment which generally exists in a more developed and 
more varied form among air-breathing animals. In whatever forms 
of life it may be met with, however, the sense of smell seems to be very 
largely indeed related to the detection and capture of food ; so, that, 
in these relations, it comes to the aid of the already-existing senses of 
sight, touch, and taste, though it has the peculiarity of being scarcely 
otherwise called into activity among the invertebrata. 

Although we have no positive knowledge concerning the situation 
of the organs of smell among invertebrate animals, there is good reason 
for believing that in Crustacea they are to be found at the base of the 
antennules; that in cephalopods they are represented by two little 
fossaB in the neighborhood of the eyes ; and that in insects a power of 
appreciating odors is possibly possessed either by the antennae them 
selves, or by a pair of fossre near their bases. Another cephalic organ 
has also been referred to as possibly endowed with a power of being 
impressed by odors. Thus Owen says : "The application, by the com 
mon house-fly, of the sheath of its proboscis to particles of solid or 
liquid food, before it imbibes them, is an action closely analogous to 
the scenting of food by the nose in higher animals ; and, as it is by the 
odorous qualities, much more than by the form of the surface, that we 
judge of the fitness of substances for food, it is more reasonable to 


conclude that, in this well-known action of our commonest insect, it is 
scenting, not feeling, the drop of milk or grain of sugar." 

Looking to the importance of this endowment in reference to the 
perception of food, and also looking to the situation of the organs of 
smell in all the vertebrate animals, there is good reason for believing 
that any similar organs of sense which may exist among invertebrate 
organisms would be found in close proximity to the mouth, so as to 
permit of that joint or associated activity between the sense of taste 
and the sense of smell which is met with in all higher forms of life. 

As already pointed out, there are also obvious reasons why the 
principal specialized tactile organs that may present themselves in 
lower animals should be found in the neighborhood of the mouth ; 
and for similar reasons, if for no other, the anterior extremity of the 
body, or the upper surface near this anterior extremity, is the site in 
which visual organs might be used with most advantage by their 
possessor. To an active animal, visual organs would not only be more 
useful at the anterior extremity of the body than elsewhere in relation 
to its food-taking movements, but also in reference to all other uses 
to which such appendages may be applied during active locomotions 
from place to place. To this situation of the eyes only two or three 
exceptions are met with among animals endowed with powers of loco 
motion, and these deviations are explicable by reference to the habits 
and modes of life of the organisms in question. 1 

The part of the body bearing the mouth, and the various sensory 
organs already named, is familiar to all as the " head " of the animal ; 
and it is owing to the fact of the clustering of sense-organs on this 
part of the body that the head contains internally a number of nerve- 
ganglia in connection therewith. This aggregate mass of ganglia 
constitutes the brain of the invertebrate animals, which, as we shall 
find, differs much in different classes of animals, not only in disposition 
and in size, but also in respect to the relative pi*oportion of its com 
ponent parts. The size of the respective ganglia, indeed, necessarily 
varies in accordance with the relative importance and complexity of 
the several sense- endowments already mentioned those of touch, 
taste, smell, and vision. The ganglia thus constituting the brain of 
invertebrate animals are not only connected with their own particular 
external organs, but, in addition, we find the several ganglia of the 
two sides brought into relation among themselves and with their fel- 

1 In some spiders the ocelli are situated rather far back on each side of the cephalo- 
thorax, but, as Siebold says : " The disposition and the direction of the organs are in 
relation with the mode of life of these animals, some of which wait for their prey hidden 
in chinks of a wall within silken tubes which they have constructed, while others hold 
themselves motionless in the centre of their webs, or wander from side to side, a mode of 
life which obliges them to look in all directions " (" Manuel d Anatomic comparative," 
tome i., p. 308). According to Prof. Rolleston also in the crustacean genera Euphausia, 
and Thysanopoda : " Eyes may be, contrary to the otherwise invariable rule in Arthro- 
poda, found elsewhere than upon the head" (" Forms of Animal Life," p. cxxi.). 


lows by means of connecting fibres, while they are also more distantly 
united with other nerve-ganglia in different parts of the body by means 
of commissural fibres. 

But another special sense-endowment remains to be referred to. 
This has to do with the organism s power of appreciating sounds or 
" auditory " expressions a power which is, however, probably pos 
sessed in only a low degree by most invertebrate animals ; since, even 
in the most perfect form of the organ of hearing among them we 
have to do with a very rudimentary structure. In this respect there 
is a great difference between the sense of sight and the sense of hear 
ing. While the eye of the cuttle-fish attains a degree of elaboration 
that does not fall so very far short of the most perfect form which it 
displays among vertebrate animals, the organ of hearing, as a mere 
organ, in all forms of the invertebrata is remarkable for its simplicity, 
and remains notably inferior to the highest type attained by this sen- 
sorial apparatus which, with its nerve-connections, becomes so enor 
mously developed in many mammals and in man. 

Like the sense of sight and the sense of smell, that of hearing, even 
in its simplest grades, serves to bring the organism into relation with 
more or less distant bodies, so long as they are sufficiently sonorous- 
to transmit the so-called " sound " vibrations through water or air to 
the sensitive organs which become attuned to receive such impres 

An auditory organ does not seem to be present at all certainly 
none has as yet been detected or inferred to exist in many of the low 
er forms of life ; while in other animals, though inferred to exist, it 
remains as yet unrecognized. This is the case, for instance, with the 
majority of Crustacea, spiders, and insects. Judging from the instances 
in which an organ of hearing has been detected in mollusks, and in a 
very few representatives of the classes above named, it seems (however 
novel the information may be to many readers) that it is an organ of 
special sense which is not habitually, or even usually, found in the 
head, and in direct relation with one of the ganglia composing the 
brain. Further remarks, however, on this subject must be deferred 
until a brief description has been given of the nature and distribution 
of the nervous system in some of the principal groups of invertebrate 

These, then, are the commonly-received modes by which organisms 
are impressed from without, and by which they attune themselves to 
the conditions and actions in their medium. It was recognized by 
Democritus, and other ancient writers, that they are all of them deriv 
atives, or more specialized modes of a primordial common sensibility, 
such as is possessed by the entire outer surface of the organism. Touch, 
taste, smell, vision, and hearing, are sense-endowments, having their 
origin in organs formed by a gradual differentiation of certain portions 
of the external or surface layer of the body that is, of the part in 


which common sensibility is most frequently called into play. And 
just as this common sensibility is a crude or general sense of touch, so 
are the several special senses only more or less highly-refined modes of 
the same sense-endowment. In the case of special tactile organs, of 
organs of taste and organs of smell, the several contacts between the 
animal and the body which impresses it, though differing in their deli 
cacy or refinement, are still immediate ; while in the case of the or 
gans of hearing and the organs of vision the contact between the sensi 
tive surfaces and the impressing body is mediate, by the intervention 
in the one case of vibrations transmitted through water or air, and, 
in the other, of vibrations from the often far-distant luminous body, 
through an intermediate and all-pervading ether. 

The movements of locomotion, or of parts of the organism which 
become established in correspondence with these various impressions, 
slowly increase in number, definiteness, and complexity. Such re 
sponsive movements, however, are found, as a general rule, to have 
the effect of prolonging the action of any influences which previous 
individual or race experiences have proved to be favorable to the life 
and well-being of the organism ; and, on the other hand, of cutting 
short or avoiding influences which past individual or race experiences 
have proved to be contrary to its general well-being. The capture 
and swallowing of food are ends to which a very large proportion 
indeed of the definite motions of most of the lower organisms are 
directed ; and this direction of their energies is only a special case to 
be included under the rule above indicated; just as efforts to escape 
from predatory neighbors are other, though opposite, instances of the 
same rule. 

In addition to the various modes of impressibility by external in 
fluence which we have hitherto been considering, there are certain 
internal modes of impressibility due to changes in the condition of 
internal parts of the organism. These are commonly spoken of as 
divisible into two categories : 1. The impressions derivable from, or 
in some way attendant upon, the contractions of muscles; and, 2. Im 
pressions emanating from one or other of the various sets of internal 
organs, such as the alimentary canal and its appendages, the respira 
tory organs, the genital organs, or other internal parts. 

With the first set of impressions we have at present nothing to do. 
They differ altogether from others, whether of external or internal 
origin, by the fact that they follow or accompany movements whose 
intensity they are supposed to measure, and do not themselves lead 
to movements. Granting that such impressions may have a real 
existence, it is obvious we can know nothing about them among 
invertebrate animals, if they have only a subjective existence, and do 
not cause an efflux of molecular movements along outgoing nerve- 

The second category of internal impressions those emanating 


from the viscera are undoubtedly very important in relation to ani 
mal life generally. In part they have the effect of causing contrac 
tions of related muscular portions of the viscera as when the presence 
of food in certain portions of the alimentary canal excites impressions, 
followed by contraction whereby the food is propelled farther on. 
In part, however, they act upon the principal nerve-ganglia those 
constituting the brain and thus excite the external sense-organs 
with which they are connected to a higher order of activity. Visceral 
impressions may cause an animal eagerly to pursue food, or to be alert 
in discovering its mate ; so that in these, and in many other instances, 
internal impressions, reaching the cerebral ganglia, would seem to 
excite a higher receptivity to certain kinds of external impressions 
and a corresponding readiness to respond on the part of the moving 
organs whose activity is related to such external impressions. 



"TTNDER the above heading may be comprehended the most of 
^J what we are desirous of saying in review of the article entitled 
" Science and Religion," by Dr. Charles F. Deems, in THE POPULAR 
SCIENCE MONTHLY for February. 

We first run counter to the author upon the definition of science 
taken from Sir William Hamilton s " Logic." Says he : " We can all 
afford to agree upon the definition rendered by the only man who has 
been found in twenty-two centuries to add anything important to the 
imperial science of logic. Sir William Hamilton defines science as a 
complement of cognitions having in point of form the character of 
logical perfection, in point of matter the character of real truth." 

In the first place, Hamilton is not the only man since Aristotle 
that has been found to add anything important to logic. There has 
been a whole department, and by far the most valuable department 
of that science, brought into existence during the last three hundred 
years. We have reference to inductive logic, or scientific method. 
Hamilton had nothing to do with the creation of this department. 
His additions are wholly confined to the barren field of formal logic. 
The other department is the result of the joint labors of Bacon, Gali 
leo, Newton, Herschel (John), Mill, Bain, and Jevons. 

Hamilton s additions to formal logic consist chiefly in what is 
known as the quantification of the predicate, and the moods and 
figures consequent upon this. There is much difference of opinion as 
to the value of these additions. Mill and Bain affirm that by the 
quantification of the predicate no new ordistinct meaning is conveyed, 


nor is there even a more intelligent rendering of an old meaning. In 
our own opinion the distinction between the comprehension and the 
extension of propositions is important ; but it is paraded with too 
much ostentation, and treated with too much prolixity. Hamilton s 
great virtue is his clearness of statement and exhaustiveness of treat 
ment. His method is admirable. Sometimes, however, there is too 
much display of his own erudition. 

But even in the domain of formal logic Hamilton is not the only 
one that has within the present century made important additions. 
Prominent among these is De Morgan. Especially valuable are his 
discussions upon the different values of the logical copula. Prof. 
Boole has also made important additions to the syllogism, and has 
most ably supported the theory of the -common ground occupied by 
logic and the mathematics. Prof. Bam also, in pure logic, has made 
a most important generalization. Hamilton s three laws of thought, 
namely, identity, noncontradiction, and excluded middle, he has re 
duced to the single law or canon of consistency. 

So much for the assertion that Hamilton was the only man in 
twenty-two centuries to- make any important additions to the imperial 
science of logic. Like enough the doctor would exclude scientilic 
method from the imperial science. Perhaps he regards formal logic 
alone fit to wear the purple. But even here we see that there can be 
no such claim set up. If, however, he could claim this distinction, it 
would afford no reason for receiving his definition of science without 
question. That should stand or fall wholly upon its own merits. 
The greatest of men are not without personal biases. It is well known 
that Hamilton had a metaphysical bias. In his work on metaphysics 
the first three lectures are occupied in attempting to prove the supe 
riority of mental science over natural science. He quotes with much 
approval this ancient declaration, " On earth there is nothing great 
but man, in man there is nothing great but mind." This being his 
known bias, before examining the definition, an investigator of Na 
ture, a believer in scientific method, might have thought that it 
was by no means certain that he " could afford " to take it simply 
on his authority. However, when we come to the definition itself, 
the matter of it is well enough. But we have the temerity to suggest 
that its form might be improved without changing the substance. It 
is too pedantic and prolix. It is not in a shape easily to be remem 
bered. We would render it thus : Science is real knowledge logically 
classified. But, as Bain remarks, positive definition is not thorough 
enough. As he says in his second canon on definition, it is needful 
to assemble for comparison the particulars of the contrasting or op 
posed notion. We can never know distinctly what a notion is until 
we contrast it with its opposite. Knowing is discriminating. What 
is not science ? What is the other notion that lies side by side with 
it in contrast, but contained under the same genus ? Now, if we 

VOL. IX. 15 


define science simply as knowledge or " complement of cognitions," 
it is contrasted with feeling or emotion. Its correlatives are produc 
tions designed to please, such as poetry, painting, or the fine arts 

If religion be regarded as proceeding wholly from the emotional 
nature, it may be contrasted with science and classed among aesthetic 
conceptions. But narrowing the definition further by qualifying 
knowledge by the terms " logically classified," we then have science 
as contrasted with or opposed to particular knowledge, or knowledge 
imperfectly classified. Qualifying further by placing the word real 
before knowledge, we have it contrasted with error or not genuine 
knowledge. By reading Hamilton, it will be seen that error is his 
antithesis to his real truth in the definition. But hypotheses are not 
error, since they are not held as truth. The distinguishing character 
of error is that, while false in fact, is is supposed to be true completely. 
Hypotheses are neither genuine truth nor errors, so long as they are 
held merely as such. They lie upon the border-lands of truth and 
error, and Hamilton s definition cannot banish them completely from 
the domain of science. They are properly allowed to hover around 
its borders. But we totally disagree with Dr. Deems as to the value 
of these " guesses " at truth. Says he, " A professor of religion has 
just as much right to guess as a professor of science, and the latter 
no more right than the former, though he may have more skill." 
Now, as to the right, there can be no dispute, but, as to the value of 
the guesses, this better skill makes all the difference in the world. 
Prof. Huxley is right in his estimate of guesses. Says he, " Do not 
allow yourself to be misled by the common notion that an hypothesis 
is untrustworthy because it is an hypothesis. What more have we to 
guide us in nine-tenths of the most important affairs of daily life than 
hypotheses, and often very ill-based ones ? So then in science, where 
the evidence of an hypothesis is subjected to the most rigid examina 
tion, we may rightly pursue the same course. You may have hypoth 
eses and hypotheses. A man may say, if he like, that the moon is 
made of green cheese ; that is an hypothesis. But another man, who 
has devoted a great deal of time and attention to the subject, and 
availed himself of the most powerful telescopes, and the results of the 
observations of others, declares that it is probably composed of mate 
rials very similar to those of which the earth is made up ; and this 
also is an hypothesis." You perceive that it makes a good deal of 
difference both as to who guesses and as to what is guessed. Indeed, 
so many scientific hypotheses have been verified in the face of the 
opposing theological hypotheses, that there begins to be a strong 
presumption in their favor before verification. Nor is it strange that 
we should be led to regard them as highly probable. The investiga 
tor of Nature, familiar with her processes and her laws, founds these 
guesses upon broad and deep analogies. 


But we have only to follow the reverend doctor a few pages, until 
we find that hypotheses, so far from being extra-scientific, wholly 
make up our science. He mounts Hamilton s definition for the pur 
pose of trampling upon scientific hypotheses. But, in his zeal for nar 
rowing the sphere of science, he arrives at the remarkable conclusion 
that " all science is purely a classification of probabilities." He has 
at length kicked the definition completely from under him, and 
remounted a platform entirely composed of hypotheses. He, how 
ever, is careful not to say, "It is certain that there are no certainties." 
Still he leaves us wholly in the dark as to where may be found 
those " very few certainties " which it appears to him God has seen 
fit to show us, " more for the purpose of furnishing the idea than for 
any practical purpose." The God of the modern divine has still 
about him a touch of the jealousy of the Zeus of ^Eschylus. He 
would have chained to the rocks the modern seeker after hidden 
knowledge, the invader of his own domain of certainties. 

We say that we are left completely in the dark as to where are 
to be found those few certainties which God has seen fit to show us 
as specimens. We are assured that they are not to be found in sci 
ence. This is only classified probabilities. The " imperial science of 
logic " has been demolished with the rest. We wonder whether it is 
because science embraces only real truth that it is uncertain or prob 
able, or is it owing to its methodical logical arrangement that it has 
acquired this character ? He should remember that most people have 
faculties called memories, that last them through several pages of 
reading, and that there is a chance for mediate or remote contradic 
tions to be detected. 

Again, in his zeal to prove that all science and religion stand upon 
the common basis of faith, he overleaps himself, and gives us as the 
results of his logic, "Ex nihilo geometria fit." So I suppose we may 
be allowed to say likewise, " Ex, nihilo religiofit" Is that what he 
started out to prove ? No, it was only this very sensible proposition, 
that " we can acquire no knowledge by our logical understanding with 
out faith in the laws of mental operations." This simply amounts to 
saying that we cannot consistently believe in the products of think 
ing except we believe in faculties of thinking. We suppose that no 
one doubts that. But believing that by no means involves the as 
sumption that science or knowledge rests upon the same basis as 
religious faith. It is a very different thing to believe in our own 
experiences, feelings, sensations, observations, comparisons, memories, 
representations, etc., and to believe in certain fundamental religious 
dogmas, as, for example, " God is an infinite person." God is three 
infinite persons. The second of these three infinite persons, which all 
make one infinite person, is now sitting in heaven upon a throne on 
the right hand of the first infinite person, neither of which has any 
parts, but all three make one indivisible unity. Most men will con- 


tinue to think that the above propositions differ very much from the 
two fundamental axioms of mathematics," Equals added to equals 
and the sums are equal ; and two things each equal to a third are 
equal each to each." In denying these, we must deny the laws of 
thought, the powers of the mind in distinguishing a thing from what 
it is not, or from that which it stands in contrast with, or in opposition 
to. All the other axioms of geometry, as Bain has shown, are either 
verbal propositions or can be derived from these, since subtraction is 
implicated in addition, multiplication derived from addition, and di 
vision implicated in multiplication. 

The absurd conclusion at which the doctor arrives, namely, " Ex, 
nihilo geometria fit" ought to show him that to begin with a meta 
physical point was hardly the proper way to build up the science of 
geometry. Of course, it being nothing, the geometry that he con 
structed out of it, no matter how many intermediate propositions in 
tervened, must be nothing. Suppose we try the analytic method of 
arriving at definitions. But first we are compelled to controvert 
the assertion that it is necessary to believe the three following propo 
sitions, or there can be no geometry, namely, that " space is infinite 
in extent, that it is infinitely divisible, and that it is infinitely con 

Now, I deny that geometry has anything to do with infinity ; in 
deed, the doctor, before he gets through, says even more than this. 
" Science," says he, " has the finite for its domain, religion the infinite." 
What we have to do with in geometry is simply the relations of the 
attributes Wpropria of definite extension. But as definite extension 
has for its correlative indefinite extension, we need to understand it in 
a sort of general way. Experience furnishes us with the mutually- 
implicated notions of the contained and the containing, the bounded 
and the bounding. We cannot separate them completely in thought. 
The assertion of the one implicates the other. What lies without any 
extension is space indefinite space. Simply that it is outside of our 
particular part of space is all that we have to do with it : whether it 
is infinite or not is none of the business of the geometrician. Indefi 
nite extension, or the notion of space in general, is very different 
from the notion, if there be such a one, the words infinite space would 
connote. Indefinite space is comprehensible in the only sense that it 
needs to be comprehended, namely, as the correlative of extension or 
definite space. 

This brings us to the genesis of the definitions of geometry. Ex 
perience makes us at first acquainted with extended bodies. This 
acquaintance goes no further than a knowledge of their attributes, or 
propria. All these properties come into the mind as a confused 
aggregate ; it is not clearly perceived as a whole made up of distinct 
parts. The relation of part to part is perceived only in a vague and 
general manner. The work of the geometrician is to analyze these 


parts, and to establish their exact relations. He compares, adds, sub 
tracts, multiplies, divides. In order to communicate his knowledge 
of the relation of parts, he must use words ; these words he must de 
fine, if their meaning is not obvious to the one instructed. But if the 
property is of a primary nature, and given in the experience of every 
one, there is no need of definition, and indeed no rational definition 
can be given. This is true alike of the notions, extension, surface, 
line, and point. Each of these is as much a datum of simple experi 
ence as the notion of white or blue ; and it is just as absurd to at 
tempt to define the one class of concepts as the other. They may be, 
however, brought out a little more closely by contrasting the correla 
tives in the manner that we have attempted with extension and indefi 
nite space. Thus surface may be contrasted with the solid volume, 
or definite space, of which it forms the boundary ; line with surface, 
of which it in turn is the boundary ; and, lastly, point with line, of 
which it is the termination or the where of separation. It is not true 
that the existence of forms depends upon the motions of points. 
Forms are given in experience through sensation. A point is the 
ultimate step in the analysis of boundaries. It is sheer nonsense to 
attempt to construct lines out of points, surfaces out of lines, and 
volumes out of surfaces. All that it is necessary to say further upon 
this subject is, that the differentiae of the higher mathematics are not 
nothings, but quantities the least conceivable. The least conceivable 
portion of a line is not a point ; the least conceivable portion of a 
surface is not a line ; the least conceivable portion of a volume is not 
a surface, for the simple reason that no portion of a thing can be its 

Now, in conclusion, we say that geometry rests upon no aifirma- 
tions in respect to the infinite, but, on the contrary, it is wholly occu 
pied about the relations of the finite in space. We have the assurance 
from the doctor that the finite is the sphere of every science, while the 
sphere of religion is the infinite. This certainly would cast theology 
out of the sphere of science, for the doctor has laid down as one of 
its fundamental concepts, " God is an infinite person." Sir William 
Hamilton s definition, in its very first clause, also excludes theology 
from science, if we take himself as authority for the meaning of the 
term cognition. Every cognition is simply a perception of relation. 
The infinite and absolute equal God are not thinkable. Hence the 
ology can have no " complement of cognition " out of which to classify 
a science. 

In another place we find that the cry of cgnflict has its origin i: 
confounding theology with religion. " Theology is not religion any 
more than psychology is human life, or zoology animal life, or botany 
plant-life. Theology is objective, religion is subjective. Theology is 
the scientific classification of what is known of God; religion is a 
loving obedience to God s commandments. Every religious man 


must have a theology, but it does not follow that every theologian 
must have a religion. There may be a conflict between theology and 
some other sciences, and religious men may deplore it," etc. Now, in 
our opinion, if every religious man must have a theology, and if his the 
ology be in conflict with science, he must either be in conflict in opin 
ion with that science or abandon his theology. But the truth is, that 
the real, actual conflict arises from the religious element. The con 
flict of opinion is in the theology of a man ; the conflict, as it appears 
upon the stage of the world s history in acts and deeds, has sprung 
from the religious nature, even as defined by Dr. Deems. A man may 
hold what theological views you please and make no disturbance in 
the world, provided he does not think much about his duty in obeying 
the commands, word, or will of God, all of which are a part of his 
theology. For instance, one of the commands of God, as contained 
in his word, and to which he should render a " loving obedience," is 
" Suffer not a witch to live." Now, a man may believe in that com 
mand simply as a dogma, but, being indifferent in the matter of ren 
dering a loving obedience, he will not let it influence his conduct, and 
so will make no effort to hunt up and have witches burnt. If, on the 
contrary, he has a loving obedience to God s word, he will trample 
upon every kindly feeling and instinct of his nature rather than not 
have the command carried out. 

Accordingly, we find that it has been the pious, the sincere, the 
believers in duty, those wishing to render a loving obedience to God s 
word, or what they thought was his word, who have in every age 
been the persecutors. But you say that they were acting under a 
delusion. They mistook what was the word of God. But how are 
they to know what is his word, if direct commands like the foregoing 
are not his ? Besides, if there was a mistake, it was in their theology, 
and not in their religion ; that only impelling them to lovingly obey 
God s commands as they knew them. Religion is but an impulse, a 
blind instinct. It knows nothing about weighing and comparing opin 
ions. Theology furnishes it with these. If these are bad, its conduct 
will be bad; if good, the conduct will be good. All it knows is 
blind obedience zeal to do the will of God as it knows it ; and the 
pretended science, which alone can give it guidance, is a science of 
the Unknowable, the Infinite, the Absolute. 

We will close with a quotation from Lecky s " History of Ration 
alism," in reference to Luther : " He was subject to many strange hal 
lucinations and vibrations of judgment, which he invariably attributed 
to the direct agency of Satan. Satan became, in consequence, the 
dominating conception of his life. In every critical event, in every 
mental perturbation, he recognized satanic power. Fools, deformed 
persons, the blind and the dumb, were possessed by devils. Physi 
cians, indeed, attempted to explain these infirmities by natural causes ; 
but those physicians were ignorant men they did not know all the 


power of Satan. Every form of disease might be produced by Satan 
or his agents, the witches ; and none of the infirmities to which Luther 
was liable were natural ; but his earache was peculiarly diabolical. 
Hail, thunder, and plagues, are all the direct consequence of the inter 
vention of spirits. Many of those persons who were supposed to have 
committed suicide had in reality been seized by the devil and stran 
gled by him, as the traveler is strangled by the robber. The devil 
could transport men through the air. He could beget children ; and 
Luther himself had come in contact with one of them. An intense 
love of children was one of the most amiable characteristics of the 
great Reformer ; but on this occasion he most earnestly recommended 
the reputed relatives to throw the child into the river, in order to free 
their house from the presence of the devil. As a natural consequence 
of these modes of thought, witchcraft did not present the slightest 
improbability to his mind. In strict accordance with the spirit of his 
age, he continually asserted the existence and frequency of the crime, 
and emphatically proclaimed the duty of burning witches." 

We see what a loving obedience to the word of God led Luther to 
recommend. That this spirit has died out, is wholly due to the 
advancement of science and rationalism, and not to any change in 
the religious spirit per se, or to any different interpretation of the 
Bible. The witchcraft is there, as it was in the days of Luther, and 
the injunction not to suffer witches to live is there, and neither has 
been explained any better than it was in the middle ages. But 
the researches of the investigators of Nature have gradually driven 
these notions out of the minds of men, and stamped them with the 
opprobrium of absurdities. 

GREELEY, COLORADO, February 14, 18*76. 


IN his late work, " Recent Advances in Physical Science," Prof. 
Tait, of the University of Edinburgh, has attempted a history of 
dynamical science, or rather of the doctrine of the conservation of 
energy. Though this great doctrine is recent in its completer develop 
ment, Prof. Tait holds that it is implied in Newton s laws of motion, 
and that Newton only failed to grasp it in its modern form for lack of 
certain experiments. Where Newton broke down, there the subject 
remained for more than a hundred years, no physicist appearing who 
could take up the research at that point and carry it on. Prof. Tait 
says that " what Newton really wanted was to know what becomes 
of work when it is spent in friction." The experiments thus needed 
to open the way to a new era in the doctrine of forces were supplied 

2 3 2 




by a self-educated American, the subject of this sketch. The news 
papers say that he is dropping out of memory in this age, and was in 
his day a distinguished smoke-doctor and improver of fireplaces ; but 
in the scientific world his fame has been increasing in recent years, 
and is destined to grow brighter with the further progress of physical 
knowledge. As attention has latterly been drawn to what America 
has done for science, it is desirable to give an account of the career 
and labors of this eminent American investigator. 

BENJAMIN THOMPSON was born March 26, 1753, in Woburn, Mas 
sachusetts. He first saw the light in the west end of a substantial 
farmhouse, which is still standing a few rods south of the meeting 
house in North Woburn. The dwelling is said to be well preserved, 
retaining its external and internal appearance unchanged, notwith 
standing its great age, and it has been recently purchased by the 
citizens of Woburn, to be preserved as an object of public and histori 
cal interest. His father died in his infancy, and when the child was 
three years old his widowed mother was married to Josiah Pierce, Jr., 
of Woburn. His latest biographer, Mr. George E. Ellis, says that 
the lad " indicated from his early years an inconstancy and indiffer 
ence to the homely routine tasks and the rural employments which 
were required of him, while at the same time he exhibited an intense 
mental activity, a spirit of ingenuity and inventiveness, and was 
found seeking for amusement in things which afterward proved to 
lead him to the profitable and beneficent occupations of his mature 
life. He showed a particular ardor for arithmetic and mathematics, 
and it was remembered of him afterward that his play-time and some 
of his proper work-time had been given to ingenious mechanical con 
trivances, soon leading to a curious interest in the principles of me 
chanics and natural philosophy." 

He received the rudiments of a common-school education, and his 
guardians, finding that he was unfit for a farm-drudge, apprenticed 
him at thirteen to a merchant in Salem. While thus engaged, with 
such spare time and private assistance as he could get, he studied 
algebra, trigonometry, astronomy, and even the higher mathematics, 
so that before the age of fifteen he was able to calculate an eclipse. 
At sixteen he was sent to Boston to continue the dry-goods business, 
and there attended an evening French school. In 1771 he began the 
study of medicine with Dr. John Hay, of Woburn, and at the same 
time attended a few lectures at Cambridge. He taught school for a 
short time at Bradford on the Merrimack, and afterward taught in an 
academy in Concord, New Hampshire, higher up the same river, a 
town which had been formerly known as Rumford. 

"When Benjamin Thompson went to Concord as a teacher he was 
in the glory of his youth, not having yet reached manhood. His friend 
Baldwin describes him as of a fine manly make and figure, nearly six 
feet in height, of handsome features, bright blue eyes, and dark au- 


burn hair. He had the manners and polish of a gentleman, with fas 
cinating ways, and an ability to make himself agreeable. So dili 
gently, too, had he used his opportunities of culture and reading, that 
he might well have shone even in a circle socially more exacting 
than that to which he was now introduced. We may anticipate here 
the conclusion to which the review of his whole career will lead us, 
that, as boy or man, he was never one to allow an opportunity of 
advancement to escape him." At Concord, when nineteen years of 
age, Mr. Thompson married Sarah Walker Rolfe, a wealthy widow, 
aged thirty-three, and by whom he had a daughter. 

The Revolution was now fermenting, and alienations and discords 
were springing up among the people. Young Thompson had made 
the acquaintance of Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire, who, 
discerning his genius and promise, gave him the military commission 
of major. This aroused a bitter feeling of jealousy not only in the 
subordinate officers over whom he had been sprung, but also with his 
superiors, who were all turned into effective enemies. His independent 
manners, his intimacy with the royal governor, and, perhaps, incon 
siderate words in a time of excitement, led to the suspicion and the 
charge that Thompson was unpatriotic and sided with the royalists. 
By the potency of gossip and tale-bearing he was brought under sus 
picion of Toryism, and threatened with that dignified discipline of 
outraged patriotism, tar and feathers and riding on a rail. Thompson 
indignantly denied the accusation. He called for proof, and a meet 
ing of his townsmen was called to consider his case. But no evidence 
of any kind was produced against him. Nevertheless the adverse 
feeling in Concord was so strong that he found it necessary to 
leave. There can be little doubt of the brutal injustice with which 
Thompson was treated. His biographer writes with evident impar 
tiality, and presents the case in all its aspects, and, admitting that 
nothing bearing the character of evidence was to be found against 
his patriotism, hes ays that "Major Thompson insisted from the first, 
and steadfastly to the close of his life affirmed, that he was friendly 
to the patriot cause, and had never done or said anything which could 
be truthfully alleged as hostile to it." The simple fact seems to be 
that while young Thompson entertained, and probably expressed, his 
doubts about the issue of a conflict with the mother-country, as many 
other independent-minded men must have done, he was nevertheless 
in sympathy with the patriot cause, and was not only willing to devote 
himself to it, but earnestly sought the opportunity by petitioning the 
Provincial Congress for a position in the army. But he was defeated 
through the machinations of the officers who resented his appoint 
ment by Wentworth. His biographer says: " He lingered about the 
camp. He devoted himself zealously to the study of military tactics. 
He continued his experiments on gunpowder. He strolled between 
Woburn, Medford, Cambridge, and Charlestown, learning whatever 


his inquisitive mind could appropriate. But there was one set of men 
whom he never could conciliate, who mistrusted his purposes, and 
cast upon him lowering looks as they met him about the camp. 
These were the general and field officers from New Hampshire, who 
looked upon him as a dandy and an upstart at least, if not also at 
heart a traitor. They would not associate with him, still less confide 
in him." It is further stated on authority, that there is no reason 
for doubting that "after the battle at Charleston, Thompson 
was favorably introduced by some officers of Cambridge to General 
Washington, who had just assumed the command; and that, had it 
not been for the opposition of some of the New Hampshire officers, he 
would have had the place in the American artillery corps which was 
given to Colonel Gridley." The genius of Thompson was thus lost 
to the American cause through the rivalries and hatreds of army 
officers, a source of evil which profoundly troubled the life of Wash 
ington during the lie volution, as it did also that of Lincoln during the 
civil war. 

Nothing was therefore left to Thompson but to remain in obscurity 
at home under a cloud of suspicion that would have darkened his life, 
or to seek a field of action elsewhere. He was a man of high spirit 
and great force of character, and of course would not submit like a 
poltroon to the degrading alternative. He accordingly took service 
under the government of his early allegiance. He went to England, 
and soon after his arrival, at the age of twenty-three, was given an 
appointment in the colonial office, under Lord George Germaine. He 
directed immediate attention to military matters ; improved the ac 
coutrements of the Horse-Guards ; continued and extended his experi 
ments on gunpowder, and improved the construction of firearms. He 
experimented with great guns, made a study of the principles of naval 
artillery, and devised a code of marine signals. He also made investi 
gations into the cohesion of bodies, which he communicated to Sir 
Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society, and was elected Fellow 
of that body in 1779 at the age of twenty-six. He very soon became 
one of the most active and honored members of the Royal Society, 
always attending its meetings when he was in London. He after 
ward received a colonelcy from the British Government, and came 
back to this country in command of a regiment on Long Island, build 
ing a fort at Huntington. He returned to England in 1783, and the 
same year made a tour on the Continent. At Strasburg he acciden 
tally met with Prince Maximilian of Deux Ponts, then field-marshal in 
the service of France, who became so interested in Colonel Thompson 
that he gave him an introduction to his uncle the Elector of Bavaria 
at Munich. The Elector was a man of liberal views, and discerning in 
Thompson the talent that he thought might be made available in pro 
moting the interests of his government and people, he made overtures 
to him to enter his service in a joint military and civil capacity. The 


proposition was favorably received, but, as Colonel Thompson was a 
half-pay officer of the English crown, he needed to have the permission 
of the king before making a Continental engagement. He therefore 
returned to England in 1784, and received not only the king s per 
mission, but also the honor of knighthood and the continuance of his 
half-pay, and he returned to Munich the same year as Sir Benjamin 
Thompson. A splendid field was now before him, and he entered 
upon a series of the most remarkable labors, to which he devoted him 
self with great assiduity. "These labors ranged from subjects of the 
homeliest nature in their bearings upon the thrift, economy, and com 
fort of life for the poorest classes, through enterprises of wide-extended 
and radical reform, and comprehensive benevolence, up to the severest 
tests and experiments -in the interests of practical science." . . . . " The 
elector was from first to last his constant friend, never thwarting him, 
never holding back his aid ; but, on the contrary, ready always to 
advance every plan of his, and to espouse his views when questioned 
or opposed by other counselors." 

It is impossible, in this brief sketch, even to enumerate the ex 
tensive and important measures of public beneficence and social 
amelioration which Sir Benjamin projected and successfully carried 
out. He reorganized the entire military establishment of Bavaria, 
introduced not only a simpler code of tactics and a new system 
of order, discipline, and economy, among the troops and industrial 
schools for the soldiers children, but greatly improved the construc 
tion and modes of manufacture of arms and ordnance. He devoted 
himself to various ameliorations, such as improving the construction 
and arrangement of the dwellings of the working-classes, providing 
for them a better education, organizing houses of industry, introducing 
superior breeds of horses and cattle, and promoting landscape-garden 
ing, which he did by converting an old abandoned hunting-ground, 
near Munich, into a park, where, after his departure, the inhabitants 
erected a monument to his honor. He moreover suppressed the sys 
tem of beggary, which had grown into a recognized profession in Bava 
ria and become an enormous public evil one of the most remarkable 
social reforms on record. Mendicity in Bavaria was at that time 
"a stupendous and organized system of abuses, which, gradually 
growing upon the tolerance of the government and people, had 
reached such proportions and had established itself with such a vigor 
ous power of mischief as to be acquiesced in as irremediable. Beggars 
and vagabonds, the larger part of whom were also thieves, swarmed 
all over the country, especially in the cities. These were not only 
natives, but foreigners. They were of both sexes and all ages ; they 
strolled in all directions, lining the highways, levying contributions 
with clamorous demands, entering houses, stores, and workshops, to 
rob, interrupting the devotions of the churches with their exactions, 
and extorting everywhere, through fear, what they failed to get by 


importunity. These swarms of mendicants and freebooters were in. 
the main composed of strong, healthy, and able-bodied persons, who 
preferred an easy life of indolence to any kind of industry. They had 
become the terror and sco.urge of the country. They would steal, 
maim, and expose little children, and compel them to extort, by their 
piteous appeals, a fixed sum for a day s gatherings, with the threat of 
an inhuman punishment if they failed. Every attempt to suppress 
this system of outrages having been thwarted, the community had 
learned to submit and conform to it as admitting of no relief; and 
this wretched tolerance seemed to double the number of these vaga 
bonds, while it raised beggary into a profession." So systematic and 
rooted had this state of things become that " the beggars formed a 
caste in the cities, with professional rules, assigning to them beats 
and districts, which were disposed of by regulations, in case of the 
death, promotion, or removal, of the proprietors. 

Sir Benjamin resolved upon the extirpation of this system, and the 
conversion of this lazy and dissolute class into thrifty, self-sustaining 
laborers. His policy was cautious, deliberate, and wise. He knew 
exactly what he wished to do, made ample provision for it, and secured 
the cooperation of the influential classes in the execution of his plan. 
We cannot describe it here, but its success was complete. The beg 
gars were swept from the streets, cared for, soon set to work, and 
raised to a condition of self-respecting industry. So effectual was the 
work that Sir Benjamin won the heart-felt gratitude of the very class 
upon which he had operated. This is beautifully illustrated by the 
fact that, " on one occasion, when he was dangerously ill, the poor of 
Munich went publicly in a body to the cathedral and put up public 
prayers for his recovery. And again, when, four years afterward, 
they learned that he was in a similar condition at Naples, they of 
their own accord set apart an hour each evening, after they had 
finished their work in the military workhouse, to pray for him." 

For the valuable services rendered in Bavaria Sir Benjamin received 
many distinctions, and, among others, was made Count of the Holy 
Roman Empire. On receiving this dignity he chose a title in remem 
brance of the country of his nativity, and was henceforth known as 
Count of Rumford. His health failing from excessive labor, and 
what he considered the unfavorable climate, he came back to England 
in 1798, and had serious thoughts of returning to the United States, 
having received from the American Government the compliment of a 
formal invitation to revisit his native land. While in England, Count 
Rumford organized the Royal Institution of Great Britain in 1800, 
which was designed for the promotion of original discovery and the 
diffusion of a taste for science among the educated classes. Its suc 
cess has more than vindicated the sagacity of its founder. He after 
ward returned to the Continent, and, while frequently visiting Munich, 
took up his residence in Paris. In 1805 he married the widow of the 


celebrated French chemist Lavoisier, who was beheaded in the French 
Revolution. The union, however, not proving a happy one, they soon 
separated, and Rumford died in his residence at Auteuil the 21st of 
August, 1814. His first wife had died in 1792, and his daughter, who 
inherited his title, had come to him at Munich, and returned to Amer 
ica after her father s decease. 

The philanthropic interest of Count Rumford in the poor and de 
fective domestic life of the lower classes of society had a great influ 
ence in determining the course of his scientific inquiries. It was this 
feeling that led him to investigate the properties and domestic man 
agement of heat. He determined the amount of it arising from the 
combustion of different kinds of fuel, by means of a calorimeter of his 
own invention. He reconstructed the fireplace, and so improved the 
methods of warming apartments and cooking food as to produce a 
saving of from one-half to seven-eighths of the fuel previously con 
sumed. He improved the construction of stoves, cooking-ranges, coal- 
grates, and chimneys, and showed that the non-conducting power of 
cloth is due to the air inclosed among its fibres ; and he first pointed 
out that mode of action of heat called convection ; indeed, he was the 
first clearly to discriminate between the three modes of propagation 
of heat radiation, conduction, aad convection. He determined the 
almost non-conducting properties of liquids, investigated the sources 
of the production of light, and invented a mode of measuring it. He 
was the first to apply steam generally to the warming of fluids and to 
culinary operations. He also, as has been stated, experimented ex 
tensively upon the use of gunpowder, the strength of materials, and 
the maximum density of water, and made many valuable and original 
observations upon an extensive range of subjects, which are described 
in the essays recently for the first time published in a complete. form. 
As Prof. J. D. Forbes remarks, " all Rumford s experiments were made 
with admirable precision, and recorded with elaborate fidelity and in 
the plainest language. Everything with him was reduced to weight 
and measure, and no pains were spared to obtain the best results." 

But it was his investigations concerning the nature of heat that 
will make him immortal. By experiments in boring cannon he proved 
its immateriality, and that it does not consist of an imponderable sub 
stance or fluid, as implied by the old theory of caloric. In these ex 
periments he demonstrated that the heat generated by friction does 
not come from any latent source in the materials used, but is derived 
from the power spent in producing the friction ; that its amount is in 
the ratio of the power expended; that it is a case of the transforma 
tion of energy, and a mode of molecular motion. He was half a cen 
tury in advance of his age, and his researches were long unappre 
ciated ; but they are now recognized as forming an epoch in the 
progress of physical science. 


2 39 



To the Editor of the Popular Science Monthly. 

DEAR SIR : The use of my name 
twice in your notice of Mr. Fiske s 
new work on " The Unseen World," in 
your May number, perhaps justifies me in 
soliciting a small space for comment on 
some expressions in that notice. 

You are defending Dr. Draper from Mr. 
Fiske s trenchant attacks. To that there 
can be no objection. Confederates are jus 
tified in standing by one another ; but I do 
not think that you are justified in saying 
that " the point of contention is as to what 
constitutes religion." So far from there 
being contention on that point,, there is 
really no important difference. All " sects," 
no matter how much they " eat each other 
up in their denial of dogmas," as you af 
firm, agree as to what religion is. It does 
not seem edifying to behold in you the tem 
per which dictates the first of the following 
sentences, although the exceeding generos 
ity of the careful proposal in the second 
has a redeeming flavor. " We hope that 
the agreement of Messrs. Brownson, Hill, 
Washburn, Deems, Fiske & Co., in de 
nouncing the groundlessness of the con 
flict, will not be construed as implying 
any agreement among the parties as to what 
religion is. If these gentlemen will get to 
gether and settle the point, an important 
step will be gained, and THE POPULAR SCI 
ENCE MONTHLY will gladly pay the expenses 
of a convention of reasonable length for 
such a purpose ; but we stipulate not to 
foot the bills until they reach an agree 

For the other gentlemen I cannot an 
swer, but I simply say that I never did 
"denounce the groundlessness of the con 
flict," but have announced it and endeav 
ored to demonstrate it, and you are witness 
that I am "vehement in asserting the 
groundlessness and absurdity of Dr. Dra 
per s assumption" of the conflict (page 

Why are you so anxious to keep your 
readers from believing that the gentlemen 
whose names you have recited in fact do 
not and really cannot agree as to what is 
" religion ? " Have you ever seen anything 
in our writings or heard anything in our 
oral teachings to justify the supposition 
that we do not agree ? As you challenge 
us, I accept the challenge for my part. I 
will not expose you to the cost of a con 
vention, but here, in my study, without 
consultation with any of the other gentle 

men you name, I venture to give two defi 
nitions of religion, in both of which I vent 
ure to predict that all those gentlemen, if 
they see this letter, will heartily agree, and 
that these definitions will win the assent 
also of Archbishop McCloskey, Bishop Pot 
ter, Bishop Foster, Bishop Wightman, Chan 
cellor Crosby, Rev. Dr. Armitage, and Rev. 
Dr. Storrs, representatives of the leading 
" sects." 

To give the least first, here is my own 
definition: Religion is loving obedience to 
God s will. No matter how or where that 
will is discovered, nor what it is, he is a 
religious man who does what he believes 
will please God, because he loves God. 

The second is authoritative. It is that 
of St. James (i. 27) : " True religion and 
undefiled before God and the Father is 
this : To visit the fatherless and widows 
in their affliction, and to keep himself un 
spotted from the world." A life of inward 
purity and outward beneficence is a reli 
gious life. 

I venture to think you may pass these 
around the whole circle of religionists and 
find unanimity. But do not we religionists 
disagree ? Certainly. The five gentlemen 
you have mentioned, and the seven whom I 
have named, differ more or less, oftener 
more than less, and on some points appar 
ently irreconcilably. But mark : we never 
differ in our religion ; it is in our science. 
The moment two men become scientific, 
whether they are religious or not, they begin 
to " eat each other up in their denial of dog 
mas." So long as we keep to religion, we 
are one. Our hearts are together. It is 
only with our heads that we butt one an 
other. I have worshiped God in company 
with each of the seven distinguished cler 
gymen whom I have ventured to name, and 
yet there is not one of them who does not 
hold some dogma of doctrine or ecclesiasti- 
cism to which I cannot subscribe. As re 
ligionists, we agree. As scientists, we dif 
fer. It is on the ground of our theology 
that we differ, and that is purely a scien 
tific ground. Be pleased always to remem 
ber that theology is only a science like 
geology or biology. 

But, my dear sir, we theologians would 
be out of fashion if we did not " eat each 
other up in our denial of dogmas." All 
other scientists do. The dogma of hctero- 
genesis tries to " eat up " the dogma of 
homogenesis, while the dogma of pangene- 
sis is fairly bursting itself to swallow both 
the others bodily ; and there is no small 
conflict between spontaneity and heredity, 

2 4 


and meanwhile biosis is striving vigorously 
to hold its ground against archebiosis. 

Behold ! are not Religion and Life the 
two greatest subjects ? You are quite anx 
ious that your readers shall fancy that reli 
gionists cannot agree in their definitions of 
religion. But you do not show them that 
even on the subject of Life the scientists 
are greatly at difference. Prof. Owen says 
that " Life is a sound ; " Schelling says it is 
a "tendency." Herbert Spencer calls it 
"a continuous adjustment." Dr. Meissner 
says it is " but motion." Dr. Bastian holds 
that he has produced plants and animals 
from inorganic matter. Schultz positively 
believes it never was done and cannot be 
done : and Prof. Huxley holds that " con 
structive chemistry could do nothing with 
out the influence of preexisting living pro 

I do not wish to crowd your pages, and 
so content myself with these few instances 
out of the multitudes of conflicting and 
perplexing differences among " advanced 

Even you, my dear sir, have not utterly 
escaped. You once wrote, " If the forces 
are correlated in organic growth and nutri 
tion, they must be in organic action." Man 
ifestly, after that sentence was written, 
you meditated, and, meditating, you dis 
covered that the sequitur was not quite as 
apparent as it ought to be. You did not 
strike out the sentence, but you apologized 
for it handsomely by saying, " From the 
great complexity of the conditions, the 
same exactness will not be expected here as 
in the inorganic field." But you see, my 
dear sir, that theology is a science which 
has for its field those subjects in which 
there is the greatest complexity of condi 
tions, and you must not demand of your 
brother scientists as much exactness in the 
statements of a metaphysical proposition as 
you may in the statement of the length of a 
fish s tooth. 

But as to your statement that the forces 
must be correlated in organic action, are you 
not in danger of being " eaten up " by the 
statements of your friends, Bastian, Barker, 
and, what is still harder on you, Herbert 
Spencer ? Prof. Barker teaches that the 
correlation of the natural forces with 
thought " has never yet been measured." 
Then, it is a mere " guess." Dr. Bastian 
says that it " cannot be proved " that sen 
sation and thought are truly the direct re 
sults of molecular activity. Then it is a 
mere "guess." Mr. Herbert Spencer, 
whose name is conclusive authority with 
you, and who, I am most frank to ad 
mit, knows as much about the "unknow 
able " as any writer whose works I have 
read, says that the outer force and the in 
ward feeling it excites " do not even main 
tain an unvarying proportion." Then it is 
a mere "guess." And, my dear sir, I do 

most heartily agree with your statement, 
" not he who Besses is to be esteemed the 
true discoverer, but he who demonstrates a 
new truth." 

Now, if Messrs. Spencer, Barker, Tyn- 
dall, Huxley, Biichner, Draper, Youmans, 
"& Co.," will "get together and settle" 
what Life is, or Thought, " an important 
step will be gained ;" and, not to be out 
done by your generosity, I will engage to 
" pay the expenses of a convention of rea 
sonable length for such a purpose," but I 
" stipulate not to foot the bills until you 
reach an agreement." 

Trusting that both you and I, as we 
grow older, may have more science and 
more religion, and room enough in our heads 
and hearts for both without " conflict," 
I am, very faithfully, your co-laborer, 

Of course Dr. Deems meant to announce, 
assert, and declare, the groundlessness of 
the conflict between Religion and Science ; 
and we think the readers of our article which 
he criticises were not in the slightest danger 
of misapprehending his position, notwith 
standing the slip of writing in which he is 
said to have denounced it. 

Dr. Deems asks : " Why are you so 
anxious to keep your readers from believing 
that the gentlemen whose names you have 
recited in fact do not, and really cannot, 
agree as to what is religion ? " Has not 
the doctor here slipped also, in inadvertent 
haste, and does he not really mean, Why 
are you so anxious to make your readers be 
lieve, etc. ? and to this we reply, that the 
anxiety in regard to a definition of religion 
has not originated with us. It is the re 
viewers of Dr. Draper who have called for 
a definition of religion from him, and con 
demn his book as dealing with a " conflict " 
existing only in his own imagination, be 
cause he has not defined what religion is. 
Had he undertaken this, they tell us, it 
would have at once appeared that there is 
and can be really no such conflict. We 
said that "the point of contention is as to 
what constitutes religion," because the the 
ological reviewers of Draper charge that 
what he treats as religion, and as conflict 
ing with science, is not religion. We 
have not denied that religion can be so de 
fined as to avoid all antagonism with sci 
ence ; and there is hope that the time may 
come when such a definition will be ac 
cepted and the antagonism will disappear. 
We only maintain that in the historic past, 



with which Dr. Draper deals, such an inter 
pretation of religion had not been reached, 
and that it is very far from being arrived at 
at the present time. Dr. Draper has been 
reproached for not defining religion; had 
he done so, and had his definition described 
that which has passed under the name of 
religion, and been held as religion, genera 
tion after generation, his definition would 
have been at once repudiated by the theo 
logical party. We said that those who 
agree in demanding a definition of religion 
from Dr. Draper, and condemn his book as 
treating of an illusive conflict because he 
does not furnish it, cannot themselves agree 
upon the definition they profess to so much 
desire. Does Dr. Deems accept Mr. Fiske s 
definition? And if there is one definition, 
clear and complete, which all men can 
adopt, why does he bring us two, and 
which are we to accept ? They are cer 
tainly not identical, lor one makes it con 
sist in a special relation of man to God, 
and the other in charity and moral purity. 
Dr. Deems defines religion as " loving obe 
dience to God s will ; " but if the obedience 
is inspired by Calvinistic fear, is it religion 
or not? Loving obedience to God s will 
but how ascertained ? Dr. Deems may say, 
with broad liberality, either by the study of 
God s printed word, or by the study of his 
living works ; but can he insure us an agree 
ment among all parties upon this basis ? 
From the doctor s position, that religious 
people disagree among each other on ac 
count of their science, we respectfully dis 
sent. Science is not an agency of discord, 
but of concord. There are undoubtedly 
disagreements in science, for its nature is 
progressive, and diversities of view are in 

evitably incident to its imperfect stages. 
Yet the great law of scientific thought is 
that, with the progress of investigation, 
there is ever a tendency to wider agreement, 
until its truths at length become established 
and universally accepted. Throughout civil 
ization it is in science, and, we might almost 
say, in science alone, that men are brought 
into essential agreement. Through the pow 
er it has conferred over the elements of Na 
ture have come the marvels of modern in 
ternational communication and intercourse ; 
and through the truths it has established in 
the domain of experience has come a body 
of common belief, which men of all lan 
guages, religions, and nationalities, can ac 
cept, so that we must regard science as in 
fact the predominant unifying agency of the 
world. The reason is, that it deals with the 
order of Nature, which is constant and ever 
open to observation and research. New 
questions are, of course, constantly arising 
in science, upon which there are at first 
wide contrasts of opinion, but the history of 
science abundantly shows, either that such 
questions a re gradually cleared up, or, if this 
is found to be impossible if the truth can 
not be determined about them then there 
comes agreement in this, and they are 
finally put aside as insoluble, and therefore 
questions with which science has no legiti 
mate concern. Conflicting views now pre 
vail on the problems of the origin of life 
and the nature of life, and time alone can 
determine what will be the issue of these 
inquiries ; but we submit that these diver 
sities of opinion are of a quite different 
kind from those between 1&e Unitarian and 
the Trinitarian the Universalist and the 



THE reader s attention will be ar 
rested by the novelty of our first 
article, by a distinguished literary 
Frenchman, giving the result of his 
observations on the progress of an in 
fant in learning to talk. We confess 
to some mortification at seeing the 
name of a man at the head of such a 
VOL. ix. 16 

discussion. Xot that the dignity of 
M. Taine is at all compromised, for he 
never undertook a more important or a 
more distinguished task than critically 
noting the steps of mental evolution in 
a baby. Nevertheless, this would seem 
to be preeminently the proper work of 
woman a work to which we might 
infer she would be drawn by her feel- 


ings, in which she would be interested 
by her curiosity, and would take up 
from the temptation of her special op 
portunities. Yet M. Taine found that 
it had not been done. He wished to 
test Max Muller s views in regard to 
the genesis of language, and wanted a 
series of observations of infantine men 
tal growth for the purpose. But they 
had not been made, the facts were 
wanting, and nothing remained but to 
make the study himself. We say this 
kind of work belongs to woman, and 
she is perfectly competent to peform it. 
Why, then, has it not been undertaken, 
and why has there not grown up a body 
of carefully-observed and widely-veri 
fied facts regarding psychological de 
velopment in infancy such as would be 
valuable for arriving at inductive truths 
for guidance in the rational education 
of childhood? Undoubtedly, psychol 
ogy is a backward science, imperfect 
from the obscurity and complexity of 
its questions, and its long cultivation by 
unscientific methods. But the value 
of observations upon the mental un 
folding of infancy is not, by any means, 
dependent upon the possibility of im 
mediately explaining them. Such ob 
servations, if accurately made and in 
telligently recorded, will have a value 
of their own independent of the state 
of psychological science, while they 
would become^ permanent and potent 
means of its advancement. In most 
other fields of natural phenomena the 
facts are far in advance of the theories 
by which they are organized into sci 
ence ; in the field of mental growth, 
however, observations are scanty and 
speculation superabundant. 

We are, of course, not to expect 
that things will come before they are 
wanted, and, if such observations are 
not called for, why should they be sup 
plied ? But the facts have been long 
and loudly called for, if not by psy 
chologists, then by practical educators, 
while woman has had exclusive charge 
of the education that begins in infancy. 

She is an educator as a mother, and 
the culture of childhood has almost 
universally fallen into her hands as a 
teacher. We might surely have ex 
pected that, with their great excess of 
opportunity, some few women of abil 
ity would have gone carefully and criti 
cally and often over the ground which 
M. Taine has passed over once with 
such interesting results. But the work 
that might have been expected, so far 
as we are aware, has not been done, 
nor is there any promise of it. The 
difficulty is, that there has been noth 
ing in woman s education either to in 
terest her in the subject or to qualify 
her for dealing with it. Observations, 
to be valuable for scientific purposes, 
involve an accuracy of perception and 
an intellectual discrimination which are 
not to be had except by patient and 
methodical training of the observing 
powers. This is the one thing that has 
not been included in female education. 
Neither languages, nor mathematics, 
nor history, nor mental philosophy, nor 
music, nor general literature, aifords any 
exercise whatever of the observing fac 
ulties. A student may become pro 
ficient in all these branches, while the 
intellectual interest in the phenomena 
of daily experience, and the objects of 
common life, remains as dormant as it 
is in the savages. Nay, more, absorp 
tion in these modes of mental activ 
ity, which involve chiefly the memory 
and reflective powers, is fatally un 
favorable to observation, as it brings 
the mind under the control of mental 
habits that exclude it. No woman can 
make valuable observations on mental 
progress in infancy that has not had a 
culture fitted for it, first, by a long prac 
tice, such as she gives to music, in in 
dependent observation in some branch 
of objective science, as botany, for ex 
ample ; and, secondly, by a thorough 
knowledge of the constitution of the 
child, especially the functions of its 
nervous mechanism. With their heads 
filled with history, aesthetics, algebra, 


2 43 

French, and German, they will never 
attain to these qualifications for study 
ing the character of children. The 
seminaries do not prepare them for it ; 
the high-schools and the normal schools 
do not confer it. Nor is "this all, nor 
the worst. There is no appreciation of 
it or aspiration for it. The so-called 
woman s movement, which professes to 
aim at her higher improvement and the 
enlargement of her activities, is not in 
this direction. It looks to public, profes 
sional, and political life, as woman s fu 
ture and better sphere of action. In the 
new colleges for women that are spring 
ing up in all directions with munificent 
endowments, the supreme consideration 
seems to be to ignore sex, and frame the 
feminine curriculum of study on the old 
masculine models, and keep it up to the 
masculine standards. The spirit of these 
schools is that of a slavish imitation. 
They are organized with no reference 
to the urgent and living needs of society, 
but they go in for the traditional trum 
peries of the old colleges ; and, instead 
of studying science in its personal, do 
mestic, and social bearings, the women 
demand Latin and Greek, and as much 
of it as the masculine intellect has proved 
capable of surviving. Children are imi 
tators. Savages are imitators. What 
else are the women in their demands 
for new and ampler opportunities of 
culture ? They will study classics, and 
let the men study the babies ; but, if 
they are incompetent, of course the men 
must do it. For this business of study 
ing the science of infancy must be pur 
sued by somebody, thoroughly and ex 
haustively. It is nothing less than a 
transcendent problem of Tmman charac 
ter lying at the foundation of the social 
state ; for only as the human being is 
understood in its deeper organic laws, 
prenatal and infantine, as well as in ita 
subsequent unfolding, can we arrive at 
settled and scientific views regarding 
the rights, claims, duties, and true in-.: 
terests of the individual in society. If 
not a new research, it is at least a new 
impulse and stage of research, and We 

say again that we should think intelli 
gent and ambitious women would be 
glad to have a share in it, and would 
have wisdom enough to include it in 
their extended schemes of female edu 


WE not long ago called attention to 
a newspaper article under the title of 
"German Darwinism," which made a 
point against Herbert Spencer as not be 
ing recognized in Germany. We point 
ed out various reasons in the national 
habits of thought, why Spencer s doc 
trines, which are put forth under the 
form of a philosophical system, would 
be likely not to attract the attention 
of German thinkers so early as those 
of other Continental countries. Our 
view has since been strikingly confirmed 
by an eminent German authority, Prof. 
Wundt, of the University of Leipsic, a 
physiologist and psychologist of world 
wide reputation. In a review of the 
German translation of "First Princi 
ples," published in the Jena Literary 
Gazette, Prof. Wundt gives an excellent 
account of the book, from which the fol 
lowing statements are condensed: 

" Of living English philosophers Herbert 
Spencer undoubtedly stands in the foremost 
rank, yet his works have hitherto been little 
known in Germany. It would, however, 
appear that this neglect is soon to be re 
trieved, for, simultaneously with the ap 
pearance of the work under review, two oth 
er volumes by the same author are issued. 
By giving an excellent translation of First 
Principles (under the title of The Bases of 
Philosophy ), Dr. Vetter has rendered good 
service to his countrymen, and it is to be 
hoped that he will further aid in making 
this distinguished author known in Ger 
many by translating the subsequent volumes 
of his system." 

"In the whole tenor of his views Mr. 
Spencer differs widely from the speculative 
philosophers of Germany. The indomita 
ble persistency with which for twenty-five 
years he has worked on the various branches 
mfi science, bringing them into one system, 
has no parallel in Germany, save, perhaps, 
in Hegel s Encyclopaedia. " 

"Among the dominant ideas in this sys- 



tern the doctrine of evolution is preeminent. 
In Spencer s mind evolution is not merely a 
principle in biology, but extends on the one 
hand to inorganic Nature, and on the other 
hand to the domain of psychology and so 
ciology. And here we take occasion to re 
mind the reader that, independently of the 
stimulus given to scientific thought by Dar 
win, Mr. Spencer early recognized the im 
portance of the law of evolution, to which 
from the first he gave very wide scope, and 
which he has illustrated with a multitude 
of original ideas." 

u A detailed criticism of the First Prin 
ciples would necessarily require a book for 
itself, more especially because the German 
reader, from the very nature of his philo 
sophical training, will enter on the study of 
the most general laws of being, the demon 
stration of which is the aim of the present 
work, with prepossessions different from 
those of the English author. Perhaps in 
the philosophical literature of recent times 
there is no English work which bears the 
national stamp so visibly as does Spencer s. 
From this point of view alone, to say nothing 
of the many pregnant thoughts it contain?, 
it well deserves the attention of German 
readers. John Stuart Mill, in the philosoph 
ical direction of his mind, came too much 
under the influence of the French, particu 
larly of Comte. Spencer s mind is, no 
doubt, more original than Mill s, and more 
free from foreign influences, though inferior 
in the splendor of external form. In all the 
philosophical speculations of Spencer we 
plainly see that practical sense which makes 
its way through the most difficult problems 
by the shortest route." 

" Finally, though the German reader will 
find in these Bases of Philosophy much 
that he will object to, and though on the 
capital points of the system he will dissent 
from the author oftener than he agrees with 
him, nevertheless he will not lay the book 
aside without having received many a valu 
able suggestion. Indeed, it may be truly 
said of works on philosophy, that we learn 
more from those which arouse our opposi 
tion than from those which merely echo our 
own opinions.." 


THE Rumford gold medal of the 
American Academy of Arts and Sci 
ences, founded to commemorate impor 
tant contributions toward our kno wl- 
edge of heat and light, has just been 

granted to Dr. John William Draper, 
of New York. This is a distinguished 
tribute to the scientific labors of our 
eminent physicist and chemist, and the 
Academy has honored itself in the 
award. Tet, those who know how 
early and eminent were Dr. Draper s 
original contributions to the chemistry 
of light, will he tempted to ask why 
this distinction was not accorded by 
the Academy to Dr. Draper a genera 
tion ago. As reminiscences of Count 
Rumford are being revived just now, 
it will be interesting to glance at the 
history of his medals, which have at 
tained such celebrity in tho scientific 

Deeply impressed with the impor 
tance of extending the knowledge of 
heat and light, to which he had de 
voted himself with great assiduity and 
success, Count Kumford, in 1796, pre 
sented to the Royal Society 1,000, 
the interest of which was to be spent 
in striking two medals both in the 
same die, one of gold and one of silver, 
worth the interest of the donation for 
two years, and to be given biennially 
for th e most important discovery or 
improvement relating to heat and light 
that should have been made* during the 
preceding two years in any part of Eu 
rope. The trust was accepted and the 
medals designed. The first award was 
to Rumford himself in 1802. In 1804 
John Leslie received the Rumford med 
als. The honor then passed, in 1806; 
to Murdock ; in 1810 to Malus ; in 1814 
to Dr. Wells; in 1816 to Hnmphry 
Davy ; in 1818 to David Brewster ; in 
1824 to Fresnel ; in 1834 to Melloni ; 
in 1838 to J. D. Forbes; in 1840 to 
Biot ; in 1842 to Fox-Talbot ; in 1846 
to Faraday ; in 1848 to Regnault ; in 
1850 to Arago ; in 1852 to Stokes ; in 
1854 to Arnott; in 1856 to Pasteur; 
in 1858 to Jamin ; in 1860 to Clerk- 
Maxwell; in 1862 to Kirchhoff; in 
1864 to Tyndall; in 1866 to Fizeau ; in 
1868 to Balfour Stewart. . 

At the same time Count Rumford 
made a corresponding donation to the 



American Academy of Arts -and Sci 
ences, instituted in 1780. Five thou 
sand dollars were presented, the accru 
ing interest of which was to be invest 
ed in medals, and granted biennially by 
the academy for the most important 
discoveries in relation to heat or light 
made within the preceding two years. 
It was also provided that, if this term 
passed without any discovery or im 
provement being made that should be 
deemed worthy of the award, the ac 
cruing interest was to be added to the 
principal, and the augmented income 
thus arising was to be added to the 
medals when the next award was made. 
But the arrangement seemed to be a 
futile one, as there were none in | 
America who troubled themselves to 
extend the knowledge of heat and ! 
light ; or, at all events, there were no . 
such extensions as in the opinion of the [ 
Academy were entitled to win the 
prizes. Years passed, and the money ; 
accumulated until the Academy became 
embarrassed by the question what to 
do with it. And so they got a law ; 
passed by the Legislature empowering 
them to depart from the strict letter of 
the endowment, and use the funds with 
more freedom in the interest of ad 
vancing knowledge. In 1839 the A cad- | 
emy gave from the interest of the Rum- 
ford fund the sum of $600 to Dr. Hare, 
of Philadelphia, in consideration of his I 
invention of the compound blowpipe, 
and his improvement in galvanic appa 
ratus. The Rumford medal was grant 
ed by the Academy, in 1862, to John B. 
Ericssen for his caloric - engine ; in 
1865 to Daniel Tread well, for improve 
ments in the management of heat; in 
1867 to Alvan Clark, for improvement 
in the lens of the refracting telescope ; 
and in 1870 to George H. Corliss, for 
improvements in the steam-engine. 
When the gift was "bade to Dr. Hare, 
the fund amounted to $27,000 ; and it 
has now grown to $42,000. 

The biographer of Rumford makes 
the following significant observation: 
" It is remarkable that the count, after 

having liberally provided funds for 
medals in the award of two learned 
bodies, should a few years afterward, 
when drawing his plan and publishing 
his proposals for his own Royal Institu 
tion, have introduced into them an ex 
press prohibition of all premiums and 


With Twenty-eight Illustrations. Pp. 
306. Price, $1.50. D. Appleton & Co. 
No. XX. International Scientific Series. 

IN the logic of science, the misleading 
influence of words is a matter of ever-in 
creasing importance. Words remain, but 
the ideas they represent are altered, ex-| 
panded, revolutionized. The old and nar 
row meanings live on in common speech, 
and the changed and enlarged significations 
are current among men of science, so that 
when the terms are employed between these 
classes they have so totally different a sig 
nification that intelligent and critical in 
terchange of ideas between them is hardly 
possible. The term applied to the pres 
ent work is a case in point. The word 1 
" fermentation " is derived from fervere, 
to boil, and applies to the agitation or, 
effervescence of saccharine liquids when 
placed in contact with ferments a phe 
nomenon that was probably familiarly 
known long before the earliest traces of- 
history. To the mass of people, the word 
" fermentation " suggests bread-making and 
brewing, with the production of spirituous 
and souring products. To the man of science 
and as treated in the present volume, fer 
mentation has become one of the great 
gateways to biology. The subject has ever 
been, and must continue to be, of great 
practical moment in its domestic and manu 
facturing relations ; and every step in its 
scientific elucidation is therefore a contri 
bution to the theory and progress of the 
arts. The knowledge of it has now become, 
so clear and extended, that it was necessary, 
it should be brought together in a special 
treatise for reference for all who are in 
terested in practical problems of organic 
chemistry. But while the present book 
fulfills this condition, it also aims at the 


higher object of bringing the principles of 
the subject into relation with philosophical 
biology. The scientific significance of fer 
mentation lies in the fact that it brings be 
fore us the action and effects of the lowest 
and most elemental forms of living organ 
isms ; it deals with the behavior and influ 
ence in numerous relations of elementary 
organisms reduced to a single cell ; but these 
cells are the units of all organic life, a plant 
or an animal of a higher order being only 
the union under special laws of different 
kinds of cells, each of which acts in a cer 
tain determinable manner. While the high 
er organisms baffle analysis from the infinite 
complexity and diversity of their minute or 
histological elements, the key to their study 
is offered in these lower structures, for " the 
more simple an organism is, the fewer spe 
cial kinds of cells it contains, the simpler 
are the chemical reactions which take place 
in it, and the more easily are they separated 
from each other and isolated by experi 
ment;" and from this point of view the 
history of fermentation becomes nothing 
less than that of the chemical phenomena 
of life. The thorough study of ferments, 
therefore, becomes an indispensable scien 
tific prerequisite to the knowledge of the 
higher organisms. 

The investigation of the influence of 
different ferment-cells in initiating differ 
ent lines of chemical change brings us into 
closer quarters with the relations of chemi 
cal and so-called vital forces. As the dif 
ferent radiant forces, thermal, luminous, and 
chemical, produce their profoundly diverse 
effects simply by variations of wave-length, 
so the different kind of cells are supposed 
to initiate different chemical changes by 
differences in the vibratory rhythm which 
starts them. In relation to this point our 
author remarks : 

"The transformation of sugar into alcohol 
and carbon dioxide and the conversion of the 
same body into lactic acid are chemical phe 
nomena which we cannot yet reproduce by the 
intervention of heat alone, nor by the additional 
agency of light or of electricity. The force capa 
ble of attacking, in a certain determinate direc 
tion, the complex edifice which we call sugar, an 
edifice composed of atoms of carbon, hydrogen, 
and oxygen, grouped according to a determinate 
law this force, which ie manifested only in the 
living cell of the ferment, is a force as material 
as all those which we are accustomed to utilize. 
Its principal peculiarity is, that it is only found 

in the living organisms, to which it gives their 
peculiar character. We ought not to allow our 
selves to be stopped by this rampart, over which 
no one has hitherto been able to pass ; we ought 
not to say to the chemist, You shall go no 
farther, for beyond this is the domain of life, 
where you have no control. The history of 
science shows us the weakness of these so-called 
impassable barriers. No one can any longer 
admit that vital force has power over matter, to 
change, counterbalance, or annul, the natural 
play of chemical affinities. That which we have 
agreed to call chemical affinity is not an absolute 
force ; this affinity is modified in numberless 
ways, according as the circumstances vary by 
which bodies are surrounded. Thus, the appar 
ent differences between the reactions of the lab 
oratory and those of the organism ought to be 
sought for, more particularly among the social 
conditions, which the latter alone has been able 
hitherto to bring together. In other words, there 
is really no chemical vital force. If living cells 
produce reactions which seem peculiar to them 
selves, it is because they realize conditions of 
molecular mechanism which we have not hith 
erto succeeded in tracing, but which we shall, 
without doubt, be able to discover at some future 
time. Science can gain nothing by being limited 
in the possibility of the aims which she proposes 
to herself, or the end which she seeks." 

Rumford), with Notices of his Daugh 
ter. By GEORGE E. ELLIS. Published, 
in connection with an edition of Rum- 
ford s Complete Works, by the American 
Academy of Arts and Sciences. Boston. 
Pp. 680. 

Rumford s Complete Works, vol. I., pp. 493. 

Vol. II., pp. 570. Vol. III., pp. 504. Vol. 

IV., pp. 842. Price of the set, including 

the u Life," $25.00. Boston : Estes 


WE elsewhere publish a brief notice of 
the life of Count Rumford so brief as 
hardly to give a just idea of the interest 
that attaches to the romantic and remark 
able story of his career. But few biogra 
phies are richer in varied incident, or fuller 
of instruction, than this of Rumford ; and its 
literary execution, by Mr. Ellis, is well 
worthy of the subject. The four volumes 
of his works comprise not only all the 
Count s essays, formerly published in Eng 
lish, but also valuable papers written by 
him in French and German which have been 
first translated for this edition. The col 
lection has been supervised by the Rumford 
Committee of the American Academy of 
! Sciences, who have grouped together in the 
several volumes, as far as was practicable, 
i the papers on allied subjects : thus the sci- 



entific papers will be found chiefly in the 
first two volumes ; descriptions of improved 
methods of warming and cooking occupy 
the third ; and the greater part of the last 
is devoted to philanthropic essays ; but this 
also contains the scientific papers on light. 
The volumes are splendidly illustrated and 
elegantly printed. The American Academy 
of Sciences could have given no worthier 
tribute to the fame of this man than to fur 
nish the world with so excellent an edition 
of his writings. 


In Two Volumes. Vol. I. Pp. 400. 
Philadelphia : The author. 

THIS work is intended to present more 
fully than has been done before the habits, 
food, migrations, and other characteristics 
of the birds of Eastern Pennsylvania. 

Especial attention is given to the build 
ing of nests ; showing wherein they vary, 
and the causes for such variations. 

The labor of nidification ; the periods 
of incubation, and the part which the male 
takes in it ; the age when the young quit 
their nests ; the character of the sexes be 
fore and after incubation ; and the food, as 
insects, seeds, and berries, on which the 
birds, old and young, depend, are carefully 
considered by the patient and indefatigable 

Very much of value is thus added to 
our knowledge of bird-life, and what is 
specially important to our knowledge of the 
instincts and mental constitution and emo 
tions of birds. 

We look for good results from the labors 
of Mr. Gentry. The system of classifica 
tion he adopts is the same as that of Dr. 
Elliott Coues in his " Key to North Amer 
ican Birds." 


GIVES an account of all changes and 
additions in the various sections of the Mu 
seum during 1875. From the report on 
instruction in zoology, it appears that dur 
ing the year 1874- 75 there were eighteen 
students attending the lectures of Prof. Mc- 
Crady. A detailed statement is made of 
the condition of the Agassiz Memorial 

F. R. S. London and Xew York : Mac- 
millan. Pp. 329. Price, $4. 

IN this work we have what the Lancet 
justly calls " the first serious attempt at a 
great generalization on an avowedly diffi 
cult subject." The author has undertaken 
no less a task than to show that the circu 
lation, as it takes place in plants, animals, 
and man, is essentially the same in kind ; 
differing mainly in the degree of complexity 
attained by the organs which carry it on, 
and of the resulting movements of the cir 
culating fluids. 

The book opens with a brief history of 
the growth of the subject, from the fanciful 
notions held centuries ago by the Chinese 
that " the circulation of the vital heat and 
radical humors commenced at three o clock 
in the morning, reached the lungs in the 
course of the day, and terminated in the 
liver at the end of twenty-four hours," up 
to the exact scientific demonstrations of 
Harvey and Malpighi. " The term circula 
tion, in the present day," says the author, 
" is employed in a double sense. In its 
wider signification it embraces the course of 
the nutritious juices through plants and the 
lower order of animals; in its more limited 
signification, and as applied to man and the 
higher orders of animated beings, it indi 
cates the course of the blood from the heart 
to the capillaries, and from these back 
again to the heart. The word circulation 
literally means & flowing round, a going and 
returning ; and it is well to bear the original 
meaning in mind, as we shall find that a 
single circle aptly represents the circulation 
in most of the lower animals, a circle with 
one or more accessory loops, representing 
the circulation in the higher oues." 

The circulation in plants is first de 
scribed, the ascent, descent, and lateral dis 
tribution of the sap, and the forces which 
maintain the flow, being each fully treated. 
Many curious resemblances between the cir 
culation in plants and that in animals are 
pointed out in this section of the work. On 
this point the author says : " I now proceed 
to a consideration of the circulation as it 
exists in animals ; and an attentive exami 
nation of the subject not only induces me 
to believe that there is a striking analogy 


between the circulation in animals and 
plants, but that in animals devoid of pulsa 
tile vessels and hearts it is in some senses 
identical, and traceable to the operation of 
the same forces." 

The subject of the circulation in animals 
occupies the bulk of the book, that of the 
invertebrates, as being in some sense in 
termediate between plants and the higher 
animals, being treated first. In a number 
of the lowest of these no trace of a circu 
lation has yet been detected, the nutritious 
fluids in such cases being supposed to pass 
from the alimentary canal by interstitial 
transudation throughout the entire body, as 
the sap passes into the substance of cellular 
plants. A step in advance is observed 
where, as in the polypi, medusee, etc., the 
alimentary canal is of large size and rami 
fies in every part of the body, serving at 
the same time as a circulatory and aliment 
ary apparatus. The next advance is the 
appearance of distinct vessels, minus con 
tractile power, as in plants. Vessels pos 
sessing contractile power, but without any 
distinct contractile organ, are next found ; 
and afterward the heart appears, increasing 
in complexity of structure along with the 
related organs, until its highest develop 
ment is reached in the mammalia. 

On the subject of the forces which give 
rise to the circulation in the higher animals, 
the author, while admitting that a large 
share of the work is done by the heart, 
argues at length in favor of the view that 
this organ alone is not equal to the task ; 
and that other agencies, such as osmosis, 
capillary attraction, absorption, chemical 
affinity, etc., aid materially in the process. 

To the physiological student the book 
is exceedingly interesting, not only for the 
novel views which it contains, but for the 
admirable way in which the author has 
presented the leading facts of his subject, 
as drawn from the whole range of living 
Nature. The print is good, and the illus 
trations, of which there are one hundred 
and fifty, are also well done. 

Pp. 337. Macraillan & Co. Price, $2.50. 

THE disputes that have arisen in various 
quarters regarding the honor due to differ 
ent investigators for working out the mod 

ern doctrines of "Energy" have been par 
ticipated in by Prof. Tait, of Edinburgh, 
and this volume is probably due to his in 
terest in the controversy. He was invited 
by a number of his friends to give a course 
of lectures on the chief advances made in 
natural philosophy since their student-days, 
and the author remarks that "the only 
special requests made to me were, that I 
should treat fully the modern history of 
energy, and that I should publish the lect 
ures verbatim." The strictly historic part, 
however, is by no means the main, or the 
most important, feature of the work. It 
furnishes its method, but the book is valu 
able chiefly as explaining and expounding 
the modern doctrines of energy in a manner 
at once popular and thorough. No adequate 
exposition of these views has yet gained en 
trance into our text-books of physics ; and 
a work was much needed, by a competent 
man, which would present the whole ques 
tion in its latest aspects. The volume of 
Prof. Tait, though not without its defects, 
may be commended as meeting this want 
in a tolerably satisfactory manner. 

FRANK VINCENT, Jr. New York : Har 
per & Brothers. Pp. 304. 

THIRTY thousand miles of travel affords 
large opportunity for observations, and to 
give an account of them in a book of three 
hundred pages seems a hopeless task. Mr. 
Vincent, however, has made the attempt in 
this racy book, and has succeeded fairly in 
presenting a series of descriptions of some 
of the more important places visited by 
him, and the reader follows him with inter 
est to the close. His chapters on the Sand 
wich Islands, and on the journey to High 
Asia, to the sacred city of the Hindoos, and 
to the famous Taj Mahal, are especially full 
of interest. 


THIS sixth part of Dr. Bolton s "Notes 
on the Early Literature of Chemistry" 
treats of the ancient papyrus-book on medi 
cine discovered by Ebers at Thebes, Egypt, 
two or three years ago. Dr. Bolton gives the 
table of contents of the book with some 
selected passages translated out of the hie 
ratic original. 



MOND, M. D. New York : D. Appleton 
& Co. Pp. 883, with 109 Illustrations. 
Price, $6. 

THE standing of this work may be in 
ferred from the fact that it has gone to the 
sixth edition, and, having been out of print 
a year, reappears rewritten, enlarged, and 
much improved. Dr. Hammond has made 
the subject of this work a specialty, and 
his extensive medical practice in the de 
partment of nervous diseases can hardly 
fail to give much practical value to his 
treatise upon the subject. The work is 
written for medical students and the pro 
fession, but other people can collect a great 
deal of information from it, curious and 
valuable, in regard to nervous actions, con 
ditions, and disorders. 

In his preface Dr. Hammond says : " One 
feature I may, however, with justice claim 
for this work, and that is, that it rests to a 
great extent on my own observation and ex 
perience, and is, therefore, no mere compi 
lation. The reader will readily perceive that 
I have views of my own on every disease 
considered, and that I have not hesitated to 
express them." Obviously, the great ob 
scurity and unsettledness of our knowledge, 
both of the physiology and pathology of 
the nervous system, offer a strong tempta 
tion to confident minds to form and pro 
mulgate positive opinions concerning them, 
but the same causes should enforce caution 
upon the student in their acceptance. 

PAINTERS MAGAZINE. Monthly, pp. 40. A. 
G-. Sullivan, Editor and Publisher. 

THE eighth number of the second annual 
volume has just been published, and pre 
sents to its readers an excellent and varied 
table of contents, besides some useful illus 
trations for the practical painter, artist, etc. 
The contributions are from some of the 
best writers of the day upon the various 
branches of painting. This magazine must 
be useful not only to the painter, but also 
to the architect and builder. That a better 
idea may be had, we give the headings of 
leading articles, viz. : House-Painting ; In 
terior or Mural Decoration; Pigment and 
Color; Hints on Drawing; Answers to 
Correspondents ; Railway-Car Painting, etc. 
Price, $1.50 per annum. 

RIE. New York : Putnams. Price, $1.50. 

IN this little volume, Prof. Guthrie, of the 
Royal School of Mines, London, presents to 
the general student of magnetism and elec 
tricity a very full compendium of that sci 
ence. In directness of statement and clear 
ness of expression this treatise is deserving 
of very high praise, and these qualities it 
doubtless owes to the circumstance that it is 
based upon the notes of the lectures deliv- 
ered by the author for many years to min 
ing students and science-teachers. " The 
work is illustrated with over 300 woodcuts. 

sale by Lippiucott, Philadelphia. 

THIS is the first of a series of three vol 
umes, intended to assist pupils who are pre 
paring for the examinations in building 
construction held annually under the direc 
tion of the Science and Art Department of 
the British Government. This first part 
treats of the points laid down as necessary 
for the examination in the elementary 
course. The subjects discussed are : Wall 
ing and arches ; brickwork ; masonry ; car 
pentry ; floors ; partitions ; timber roofs ; 
iron roofs ; slating ; plumbing ; cast-iron 
girders ; joinery. 


178. Price, $2. New York : Van Nos- 


THE title of this work sufficiently indi 
cates its purport, namely, the solution oi 
chemical problems arising in the adminis 
tration of justice. As a matter of course, 
the subject of the detection of poisons re 
ceives the most attention ; but the author 
also describes the processes to be adopted 
for examining sundry alimentary and phar 
maceutical substances, for examining writ 
ten documents, blood-stains, etc. The trans 
lator of the work, Dr. J. P. Battershall, ap 
pends a list of- books and memoirs on the 
subject of toxicology and the allied branches. 


By Prof. 0. C. MARSH. 

THIS is a reprint from the American 
Journal of Science and Art. Besides the 
letter-press, the paper contains six litho 
graphic plates giving views of the skull, den 
tition, jaw, feet, etc., of Dinocerata. 




Structure and Relation of Dinichthys. 
By J. S. Newberry. Pp. 64. With Plates. 
Columbus, Ohio : Nevins & Myers. 

Chemistry, Practical and Analytical. 
Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Philadelphia: Lippin- 
cott & Co. 

Report on Vienna Bread. By E. N. 
Horsford. Pp. 130. Washington : Gov 
ernment Printing-Office. 

Worcester Lyceum and Natural History 
Association. By N. Payne. Pp. 13. 

Land and Fresh-Water Mollusca found 
in the vicinity of Cinciunati. Pp. 5. 

Man : Palaeolithic, Neolithic, etc., not in 
consistent with Scripture. By Nemo. Dub 
lin : Hodges, Foster & Co. Pp.137. Price, 
five shillings. 

Bulletin of the United States Geological 
and Geographical Survey of the Territories. 
Vol. II., Nos. 1 and 2. Washington : Gov 
ernment Printing-Office. Pp. 90 and 100. 

Bulletin of the Bussey Institution. Part 
5. Pp. 95 

Roads, Streets, and Pavements. By 
Brevet Major-Genoral Gillmore. Pp. 258. 
New York : Van Nostrand. Price, $2. 

American Catholic Quarterly Review. 
Vol. I., No. 2. Pp. 190. Philadelphia : 
Hardy & Mahony. Price, $5 per annum. 

Tansactions of the Kansas Academy of 
Science. Vol. IV., pp. 64. Topeka : G. W. 
Martin, Printer. 

Geological Survey of Ohio. Paleontolo 
gy, Vol. II., pp.432, with numerous Plates ; 
Geology, Vol. II., pp. 700, with Maps. Co 
lumbus : Nevins & Myers, State Printers. 

Physics and Hydraulics of the Missis 
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D. Pp. 9. From the New Orleans Medical 
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1875. Pp. 170. 

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A Moth that bores for its Food. The 

order of Lepidoptera, which includes moths 
and butterflies, is almost universally char 
acterized as possessing a flexible trunk, 
by means of which the insects suck up 
the nectar of flowers. Indeed, the pos 
session of a flexible trunk is commonly re 
garded as one of the distinguishing char 
acteristics of this order.- A few years ago, 
however, a French botanist, M. Thozet, then 
residing in Australia, discovered a moth 
(Ophideres fullonica) which possessed a 
trunk so rigid as to be able to pierce the rinds 
of oranges and suck their juice. Another 
Australian observer having since called at 
tention to the depredations of this moth, M. 
J. Kiinckel was led to examine the trunks of 
Ophideres which had been sent to him from 
Australia by M. Thozet. This trunk he de 
clares to be a perfect instrument, and says 
that it would be an excellent model for the 
making of new tools to be employed in 
boring holes in various materials. It re 
sembles the barbed lance, the gimlet, and 
the rasp, and hence can pierce, bore, and 
tear, at the same time allowing liquids to 
pass without impediment by the internal 
canal. The two applied maxillae constitut 
ing the organ terminate in a sharp triangu- 



lar point, furnished with two barbs ; then 
they become enlarged, and present on the 
lower surface three portions of the thread 
of a screw, while their sides and their up 
per surface are covered with short, strong 
spines, projecting from the centre of a de 
pression with hard and abrupt margins. 
The purpose of these spines is to tear the 
cells of the orange-pulp, as the rasp serves 
to open the cells of the beet-root, in order 
to extract sugar. The upper region of the 
trunk is covered below and on the sides 
with fine, close-set striae, arranged in half- 
screws, which give it the properties of a 
file; the striae are interrupted here and 
there by small spines of soft consistence, 
which serve for the perception of tactile 
sensations. The orifice of the canal is situ 
ated in the lower surface, below the first 
screw-third. All this will be seen better 
from the annexed figures : 

TRUNK OF OpJiideres fullonica A, in Profile; B, 
from below ; <?, from above ; I, Interior Canal ; 
o, Orifice of the Canal. 

On investigation, M. Kiinckel has found 
that all the species of the genus Ophidcrcs 
possess a similar terebrant trunk. This 
circumstance establishes a closer relation 
ship between the Lepidoptcra, the Hcmip- 
tera, and certain Diptera in which the max 
illae are adapted to pierce tissues. 

As we learn from Prof. A. R. Grote, the 
group of Noctuldce to which Ophideres be 
longs, called by Borkhausen Fasciatce, is 
represented by only a few forms in Europe, 
but it is largely developed in the tropics of 
both hemispheres. The peculiar structure 
of the maxillee observed in Ophideres has 

not been found in any of the North Amer 
ican genera o f the group. In the genus 
Catocata, which is largely represented in 
North America, the spiral tongue or trunk 
is simply furnished with lateral papillae, ap 
pearing like serratures, toward the extrem 
ity of the trunk. 

( mining of the Adder, A correspond 
ent of the Milwaukee Sentinel confirms Mr. 
Lewis s observations on the cunning of the 
adder (in the February number of the 
MONTHLY). This correspondent states that, 
over thirty years ago, in Leeds, Greene 
County, New York, his attention was one 
day attracted by the plaintive cry of a cat. 
Looking into a garden, an adder was seen 
near the cat. The cat seemed to be com 
pletely paralyzed by fear of the adder ; she 
kept up the plaintive cry, as if in great dis 
tress, but did not take her eye off the ser 
pent, or make any attempt to attack or es 
cape. Soon the snake saw that human 
eyes were observing him, and he com 
menced to crawl slowly away. "I then," 
continues the writer of the narrative, " con 
cluded to release the cat from its trouble. 
I took a garden-rake and put it on the 
snake s back, and held it without hurting it. 
As soon as I had the snake fast in this po 
sition, it raised its head, flattened it out, .and 
blew, making a hissing noise, and something 
resembling breath or steam came from its 
mouth. When that was exhausted I re 
moved the rake, and the adder turned over 
on its back, lying as if dead. With the 
rake I turned it over on its belly again, but 
it immediately turned on its back. This 
was repeated several times. At last it was 
taken out of the garden, laid in the road, 
and we all retired to watch its movements. 
It commenced to raise and turn its head 
slowly (looking about the while), until en 
tirely on its belly, and started at full speed 
for a little pool of water in the road, frora 
which it was raked out and dispatched." 

Measurio? Distances by Sonnd. The 

Prussian correspondent of the London 
Times makes mention of an instrument de 
vised by Major Le Boulanger, of the Bel 
gian Artillery, which, with great accuracy, 
indicates the distance between two armies 
from the report of their guns. The mo- 

2 5 2 


ment the enemy fires a shot, the action of 
the report upon the "telemeter" marks 
the distance to a fraction. The instrument 
is entirely self-acting, easily kept in order, 
and requires no particular experience or 
intricate calculations to use it aright. The 
experiments to which it has been subjected 
in Prussia and in some other countries are 
stated to have been completely successful 
as regards cannon. Experiments in the 
rifle-grounds are still going on. Even 
should the invention be confined to artil 
lery, its effect must be tremendous, consid 
ering the present deadly efficiency of fire 
arms. One of its principal advantages, it 
is supposed, will be to enable gunners in a 
coast-battery to determine the position of 
a hostile ship a calculation hitherto fraught 
with special difficulty. 

Sir John Lnbbock on the Habits of Ants. 

Sir John Lubbock still continues his ob 
servations of ants, and at a recent meeting 
of the Linnean Society of London read a 
paper in which he treated 1. Of the power 
of intercommunication among ants ; 2. 
Their organs of sense; 3. Their affection 
or regard for one another. The results are 
chiefly negative, contradicting many gen 
erally-received opinions. To test the ants 
power of communicating information to one 
another, the author had a glass box for the 
"nest," so that he could watch what was 
done inside. This was placed on a pole. 
On the other side of the pole was a board 
intended as a promenade for the ants. Near 
to this were three pieces of glass, connected 
with the board by strips of paper. On one 
of the pieces of glass was placed a collec 
tion of food, and on the other two there 
was nothing. Two ants were taken and 
marked with spots of color, as in former 
observations, so that they should be readily 
recognized. These were both taken, one 
after the other, to the store of food, and 
were guided and taught their way to the 
nest. They soon learned their way to and 
from the nest to the food-supply, coming 
out of the door along the outside to the 
pole, around that, across the board, along 
the paper bridge, and so to the glass that 
supported the food, and so back again to 
the nest. Sir John Lubbock s object was 
to watch whether the other ants in the nest 

would -find out the food, and, if so, to test 
as far as possible whether they found it 
from information given, or whether they 
tracked the scent. He devoted certain pe 
riods to watching the movements of the 
ants, counting the number of journeys made 
by his marked ants, and also recording how 
many untaught strangers made their way 
from the board along the right bridge to 
the food. At his first period of observation 
he found that, while his marked ants made 
forty journeys with food, nineteen strangers 
also came on to the bridges. Of these, two 
only turned to the food, eight turned to the 
wrong bridge, and the rest went straight 
on. Modifications in the arrangements of 
the bridges were made in different ways, 
while the rest of the construction was left 
unaltered. The observations made on dif 
ferent days and during periods of different 
duration all showed the same result. 

In referring to the organs of sense, Sir 
John had endeavored to ascertain whether 
the antennae are organs of hearing or of 
smell. He had tried them with all sorts of 
noises he could contrive, and found no re 
sults. If ants have hearing, they must be 
sensible to those vibrations of the air which 
do not affect the human ear. But he had 
also tried the antennae with smells, and he 
found that if he put a fine earners-hair 
pencil with a scent on it near one of them 
it shrank away, and then, if applied to the 
other, that also turned away. The use of 
the antennae, however, still needs inves 
tigation, and Sir John hopes soon to make 
further observations. As regards their af 
fection for one another, he does not doubt 
that an ant that dies ladeu with food will 
be cared for by its companions ; but he 
brought forward a number of instances in 
which he had put ants that had suffered 
immersion in water for periods of from an 
hour to ten hours in the way of ants that 
were passing by, and he found almost inva 
riably that they took no notice of their un 
fortunate brethren. Indeed, the exceptions 
in which any attention was paid were so 
few that Sir John said he was disposed to 
regard these as ants with individual feel- 
ings, which were by no means those com 
mon to the community. It is understood 
that the results of Sir John Lubbock s long- 
continued researches into the habits of bees 



and ants will be given to the public before 
long in a volume of the "International 
Scientific Series." 

Sea - Soundings without a Line. Dr. 

Siemens exhibited, at a recent meeting 
of the London Royal Society, an instrument 
devised by himself for ascertaining the 
depth of the sea. In explaining the prin 
ciple of this instrument, Mr. Siemens ob 
served that the total gravitation of the 
earth, as measured on its normal surface, 
is composed of the separate attractions of 
its parts, and that the attractive influence 
of each equal volume varies directly as its 
density and inversely as the square of its 
distance from the point cf measurement. 
The density of sea-water being about 1.026, 
and that of the solid constituents compos 
ing the earth s crust about 2.763, it follows 
that an intervening depth of sea-water must 
exercise a sensible influence upon total 
gravitation if measured on the surface of 
the tea. His instrument, which he calls a 
bathometer, is described in the London 
Times as consisting "essentially of a ver 
tical column of mercury, contained in a 
steel tube having cup-like extensions at 
both extremities, so as to increase the ter 
minal area of the mercury. The lower cup 
is closed by means of a corrugated dia 
phragm of thin steel plate, and the weight 
of the column of mercury is balanced in 
the centre of the diaphragm by the elastic 
force derived from two carefully-tempered 
spiral steel springs of the same length as 
the mercury-column. One of the peculiar 
ities of this mechanical arrangement is, 
that it is parathermal, the diminishing elas 
tic force of the springs with rise of tem 
perature being compensated by a similar 
decrease of potential of the mercury-col 
umn, which decrease depends upon the 
proportions given to the areas of the steel 
tube and its cup-like extension*." 

The instrument is suspended in such a 
manner as to retain the vertical position, 
notwithstanding the motion of the ship, 
and the vertical oscillations of the mercury 
are almost entirely prevented by a local 
contraction of the mercury-column to a very 
small orifice. The reading of the instru 
ment is effected by means of electrical con 
tact, which is established between the end 

of a micrometer-screw and the centre of 
the elastic diaphragm. The pitch of the 
screw and the divisions in the rim are so 
proportioned that each division represents 
the diminution of gravity due to one fathom 
of depth. Actual experiment has shown 
the apparatus to be very reliable. 

Formation of Mountain - Chains. This 

subject is considered by Prof. Joseph Le 
Conte in the April number of the American 
Journal of Science, in which interesting 
facts are presented, the results of obser 
vations made by the author in the Coast 
Range of California. He finds that the 
actual length of the folded strata is about 
two and a half to three times the horizon 
tal distance through the mountains. It 
thus appears that from fifteen to eighteen 
miles of strata, that is, of original sea- 
bottom, has been crushed or mashed into 
six miles, with " corresponding up-swelling 
of the whole mass." 

This diminution of distance, according 
to the theory of Prof. Le Conte, has not 
arisen from folding of the strata, but by 
mashing of them by horizontal pressure. 

From the flattened and elongated form 
of little nodules of clay found in some of 
the strata, he concludes that their elonga 
tion vertically exactly correlates their short 
ening horizontally, and that the one is to 
the other as two and a half or three is to 
one. It thus appears that in the compres 
sion of the beds their constituent particles 
underwent a change of form corresponding 
with the conditions of the pressure. 

These clay pellets or nodules are sup 
posed to have been formed on the bottom 
of gently-flowing streams, are a part of the 
original sedimentary beds, and are the same 
in character as those which form greenish 
spots in slate, as described by Prof. Tyn- 

It will be seen that, in accounting for 
the elevation of mountain-chains, Prof. Le 
Conte differs from Prof. Dana in this : that 
waile they agree that mountain-chains are 
formed by yielding of the earth s crust, 
Prof. Dana attaches importance chiefly to 
the bending and plication of it, Prof. Le 
Conte to the crushing of it. He says, " I 
am satisfied that Prof. Dana greatly under 
estimates the amount of elevation by sim 
ple mashing as compared with folding." 



Brain- Weight and Mental Power. Great 

weight of brain is commonly regarded as 
evidence of great cerebral power. That 
this conclusion, however, is erroneous, is 
shown by Dr. Kobert Lawson, who, in the 
Lancet, compares the brain-weights of some 
of the great men of modern times with the 
brain- weights of lunatics who died in the 
West Riding Asylum. He gives the follow 
ing instructive table : 

Ounces. Ounces. 

Brain -weight of Dr. Chalmers . . , . 53 Lunatic 58 

Daniel Webster.. 53.5 " 58 

" Sir J. Y. Simpson 54 " 5S.5 

" Goodsir 57.5 " 59.5 

" Abercrombie 63 " 60.5 

" Cuvier 64 " 61 

It will be observed that only Abercrombie 
and Cuvier surpass in weight of brain the 
inmates of the asylum. One of these lu 
natics, he whose brain weighed 61 ounces, 
was seventy-one years of age when he died ; 
when he was forty-five, his brain probably 
weighed not less than 64 ounces, thus equal 
ing in weight the brain of the great Cuvier, 
and exceeding that of Daniel Webster by 
20 per cent. From all this it follows that 
great weight of brain is not in itself a con 
clusive evidence of great intellect. 

From this comparison of brain-weights, 
Dr. Lawson passes to the consideration of 
the relations between geuius and insanity. 
"Every day," he says, "the observation of 
the poet, that great wit is nearly allied to 
madness, gains a wider and more practical 
acceptance. So much is this the case that 
Dr. Wilks ventures to make the statement 
that it is probably the insane element which 
imparts what we call genius to the human 
race, the true celestial fire. And though it 
is fearful to think of the propagation of a 
race tainted with insanity, yet it does not 
follow that an infusion of the insane blood 
may not be desirable. Dr. Maudsley holds 
the same opinion." 

Preservation of Zoological Specimens. 

Last summer, Profs. Yerrill and Rice, of Yale 
College, made a number of experiments to 
ascertain the effects of various chemical 
preparations upon marine invertebrates, the 
objects being to improve existing methods 
of preserving specimens and to ascertain 
the best means of killing in an expanded 
state species which ordinarily contract very 
much when put directly into alcohol. The 

results are given in the American Journal of 
Science, by Prof. Verrill, who says that sev 
eral very fine preparations of Actinia in 
a state of nearly perfect expansion were 
made by slowly adding a concentrated solu 
tion of picric acid to a small quantity of sea- 
water in which they had been allowed to ex 
pand. When fairly dead, they were trans 
ferred to a pure saturated solution of the 
acid, and allowed to remain from one to 
three hours. They were then placed in 
alcohol for permanent preservation. The 
alcohol should be renewed after a day or 
two, and this should be repeated until all 
the water has been absorbed from the speci 
men. Hydroids and most kinds of jelly-fish 
es can be easily preserved in the same way. 
Even delicate Ctenophorce can be thus pre 
served so as to make fair specimens. The 
experiments were made with the view of 
finding some poison that will kill mollusks, 
especially gasteropods, in a fully-extended 
state, but the results were negative ; at 
least no method was discovered that is 
more generally successful than that of al 
lowing them to suffocate in stale sea-water, 
through excess of carbonic acid and de 
ficiency of oxygen. 

Improvement of the Steam-Enginc. In 

giving testimony before the Government Com 
missioners on the Advancement of Science in 
Great Britain, Mr. Anderson, superintendent 
of machinery at Woolwich, spoke of Joule s 
experiments on the conservation of energy 
as of immense value and as being an exam 
ple of what government should do for the 
common good. Joule had made engineers 
thoroughly dissatisfied with their present 
knowledge as to what they can do with 
steam. " I believe," he continued, " that 
what Joule did will do more for this coun 
try than even what James Watt did. The 
part that James Watt took was very great, 
and the world gives him full credit for it ; 
but the world is scarcely willing to give 
credit to Joule. Engineers know that the 
best steam-engine is not doing one-sixth of 
the work which it ought to do and can do. 
That is a sad state of matters to be in when 
we know that we are so far wrong, but yet 
no one will go to the trouble of going to the 
end of the question so as to improve the 
steam-engine as it might be done." 


Underground Forests in the Thames Val 
ley. An interesting geological discovery, 
as we learn from Nature, was recently made 
during excavations for a new tidal basin at 
the Surrey Commercial Docks, London. 
On penetrating some six feet below the sur 
face, the workmen everywhere came across 
a subterranean forest-bed, consisting of 
peat with trunks of trees, for the most part 
still standing erect. All are of species still 
inhabiting Britain ; the oak, alder, and wil 
low, are apparently most abundant. The 
trees are not mineralized, but retain their 
vegetable character, except that they are 
thoroughly saturated with water. In the 
peat are found bones of the great fossil ox. 
Fresh-water shells are also found. No doubt 
is entertained that the bed thus exposed is 
a continuation of the old buried forest which 
has been brought to light at various other 
localities on both sides of the Thames. In 
each case the forest-bed is found buried be 
neath the marsh-clay, showing that the land 
has sunk below the tidal level since the for 
est flourished. 

The Meditation of Infants. From ex 
periments made by Dr. Lewald it appears 
that sundry medicines are most advanta 
geously introduced into the system of .an 
infant through the mother s milk. Thus of 
iron a larger quantity can be administered 
to the infant in this way than by any other 
means. Bismuth, however, is eliminated in 
the milk only in very small quantity. Iodine 
does not appear in the milk until ninety-six 
hours after taking it ; iodide of potassium 
appears four hours after ingestion, and 
continues to be eliminated for eleven days. 
Arsenic appears in the milk at the end of 
seventeen hours, and continues for at least 
forty hours. Oxide of zinc, though one of 
the most insoluble preparations, is elimi 
nated by the milk ; it disappears sooner than 
iron. The elimination of antimony is an 
undeniable fact, and it is well to bear this 
in mind during the period of nursing ; the 
same holds true in regard to mercurial prep 
arations. That alcohol and narcotics are 
eliminated by the milk has not been demon 
strated. Sulphate of quinine is eliminated 
very easily, and a child suffering from inter 
mittent fever was cured by administering 
quinine to the nurse. 


THE printing-press at which Benjamin 
Franklin worked in London will be exhib-. 
ited at Philadelphia. This press was at 
one time the property of Harrild & Sous, 
of London, but in 1841 they allowed it to 
be forwarded to Philadelphia. By way of 
acknowledgment, a sum of money was to 
be handed over to the Printers Pension 
Corporation, for the purpose of founding a 
pension for an aged printer. This has nev 
er been done, and hence Franklin s press 
by right belongs to Messrs. Harrild, and 
should appear at the Centennial Exhibition 
as an English and not an American exhibit. 

IN the "Annual of Natural Science," of 
Wurtemberg, Otto Hahn has an elaborate 
review of the Eozoon Canadense question. 
This article, which is very long, is published 
in the Annals and Magazine of Natural His 
tory, for April. The author, after an ex 
amination of the geological, the mineralogi- 
cal, and the zoological facts, pronounces the 
so-called eozoon structures to be purely 
mineral in their origin. 

IN replying to Tyndall, Dr. Bastian cites 
a number of investigators as supporting his 
views on biogenesis. Among the authori 
ties thus quoted are E. Ray Lankester and 
Dr. Pode ; but the former of these two gen 
tlemen now writes to Nature, saying that 
their (i. e., Lankester s and Pode s) results 
" conclusively and categorically contradict 
the particular assertions contained in Dr. 
Bastian s book, The Beginnings of Life, 
into the truth of which they set themselves 
to inquire." 

SPECIMENS of paper and cardboard made 
from peat were recently presented to the 
Berlin Polytechnic Association by Herr 
Veyt-Meyer. The paper and cardboard 
were very firm, and the latter was so thick 
that it might be planed and polished. Pa 
per made of peat alone is like that made 
from wood or straw; but only fifteen per 
cent, of rags is needed to give it consistence. 
A large factory for the manufacture of peat 
paper is to be established in Prussia. 

IN order to act intelligently against the 
cotton-worm, Southern planters are advised 
by Prof. A. R. Grote to act in concert. He 
further recommends that, whatever agent is 
employed to destroy the worm, be used 
against the first brood that appears in the 
locality, so as to prevent its spreading far 
ther. It is highly desirable that the life- 
history and habits of such insect-pests 
should be thoroughly studied, with a view to 
their extermination. 

lege, has patented a process for giving reso- 

2 5 6 


nance to sundry alloys, such as britannia 
metal, pewter, etc., which commonly give 
only a dull sound when struck. According 
to the Engineering and Mining Journal, the 
process consists in submitting articles made 
of these alloys to the action of a certain 
degree of temperature, just below their 
melting-point, for a short time, in a bath of 
oil or paraffine. The theory of the process 
appears to turn upon a rearrangement, per 
haps a crystallization, of the molecules. 

THE Phylloxera Commission, appointed 
by the Paris Academy of Science, to award 
the Government prize of 300,000 francs for 
the discovery of an effectual means of de 
stroying the Phylloxera, has reported that 
none of the specifics submitted to them, are 
entitled to the prize. 

DR. EWALD records, in Reicherfs A rchiv, 
an instance of the production of a hydro 
carbon gas in the stomach of a man suffer 
ing from chronic gastritis. The man, one 
day, while lighting a cigar, was surprised to 
see his breath take fire, and burn with a 
yellow flame. Dr. Ewald afterward analyzed 
some of this gas, and found it to consist of 
hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbonic acid, 
and a considerable portion (about ten per 
cent.) of marsh gas. 

ABOUT ten per cent, of the Cape dia 
monds are of first quality, fifteen per cent, 
of second, twenty of third. The remain 
der are employed for cutting diamonds, and 
for the numerous applications of this gem 
in the arts. It is estimated that the value 
of the diamonds found at the Cape from 
March, 1867, to the present time exceeds 

DR. RICHARDSON, of London, cites the 
high death-rate of innkeepers, publicans, 
and the like, as evidence of the fatal effects 
of intoxicating drink. In London the mor 
tality of all males is 2.012 per cent, annu 
ally ; that of publicans, 3.466 per cent. In 
England, exclusive of London, the mortality 
of all males is 1.182 per cent, annually; of 
publicans 3.163 per cent. It is a striking 
fact that the death-rate in this class is high 
er than in any other class of male occupa 
tions named in the census, save one the 
hackney-coach man. 

SALICYLIC acid has been used with good 
results in Germany, in the treatment of re 
cent superficial gangrenous sores, the method 
being to apply a thin layer of powdered 
salicylic acid on the surface of the sore, 
covering it then with wadding. 

EXPERIMENTS lately made in France show 
that air laden with coal-dust is highly ex 
plosive. Several cases of explosion in coal 
mines have been traced to the action of sus 
pended coal-dust when no fire-damp was 

THE practice of scalping is not peculiar 
to the American aborigines. Southall, in 
his " Recent Origin of Man," quotes from 
Herodotus to show that the Scythians used 
to scalp their fallen enemies. In the pres 
ent time the wild tribes of Northeastern 
Bengal use the scalping-knife. 

AN expedition under the leadership of 
Prof. Nordenskiold will start next summer 
to explore a commercial route from North 
ern Russia to Behring Strait. Funds have 
also been contributed toward the cost of 
another expedition to explore the gulf of 
Obi and the sea-route between Archangel 
and the great rivers of Siberia. 

EDMUND A. PARKES, M. D., F. R. S., Pro 
fessor of Military Hygiene in the Army Medi 
cal School at Netley, England, died March 
15th, at the age of fifty-six years. During 
the Crimean War he was selected by Govern 
ment to organize and conduct a hospital, 
and on his return to England was appointed 
to the chair of Hygiene at Netley. His 
annual contributions on hygiene were for 
many years, perhaps the most valuable feat 
ure of the blue-books of the War Depart 
ment. He was a very successful teacher, 
and a frequent contributor to the medical 
press, and to the " Transactions " ofscientific 
bodies. His " Manual of Practical Hygiene " 
has reached a fourth edition. 

DIED, March 29th, Dr. Henry Letheby, 
for many years lecturer on chemistry and 
toxicology in the London Hospital, and 
chemical analyst of the city of London. He 
was the author of a number of papers on 
sanitary and chemical subjects, published in 
sundry medical journals. His work on 
"Food" was republished in this country 
three years ago. At the time of his death 
he was sixty years of age. 

NEARLY all the amber of commerce cornea 
from Eastern Prussia, where it is obtained 
by dredging the bottom of the sea just off 
the coast. It was recently discovered that 
amber occurs jn a deposit called the " blue 
earth." It has been supposed that this 
deposit extends for some distance inland, 
and a shaft was recently sunk to determine 
this point. At the depth of 140 feet there 
was found a stratum of " blue earth " with 
out amber and two feet in thickness ; then 
came another stratum five feet thick, which 
was rich in amber. 

THERE are few who do not remember the 
childish wonder they once felt at hearing 
the resonance produced by placing a sea- 
shell to the ear, an effect which fancy has 
likened to "the roar of the sea." This is 
caused by the hollow form of the shell and 
its polished surface, enabling it to receive 
and return the beatings of all sounds that 
chance to be trembling in the air. Public 




JULY, 1876. 


TO generate motion has been found a characteristic common, with 
one exception, to all the phases of physical force. We hold the 
bulb of a thermometer in our hands, and the mercury expands in bulk, 
and, rising along the scale, indicates the increase of heat it has re 
ceived. We heat water, and it is converted into steam, and moves 
our machinery, our carriages, and our iron-clads. We bring a load 
stone near a number of iron-filings, and they move toward it, arrang 
ing themselves in peculiar and intricate lines ; or we bring a piece of 
iron near a magnetic needle, and we find it turned away from its ordi 
nary position. We rub a piece of glass with silk, thus throwing it 
into a state of electrical excitement, and we find that bits of paper or 
thread fly toward it, and are, in a few moments, repelled again. If 
we remove the supports from a mass of matter it falls, the influence 
of gravitation being here most plainly expressed in motion, as shown 
in clocks and water-mills. If we fix pieces of paper upon a stretched 
string, and then sound a musical note near it, we find certain of the 
papers projected from their places. Latterly the so-called " sensitive 
flames," which are violently agitated by certain musical notes, have 
become well known as instances of the conversion of sound into motion. 
How readily chemical force undergoes the same transformation is 
manifested in such catastrophes as those of Bremerhaven, in the 
recent deplorable coal-mine explosions, and indeed in every discharge 
of a gun. 

But light, in some respects the highest of the powers of Nature, 
has not been hitherto found capable of direct conversion into motion, 
and such an exception cannot but be regarded as a singular anomaly. 

This anomaly the researches which I am about to bring before you 

1 A lecture delivered at the Royal Institution. 

TOL. IX. 17 


have now removed ; and, like the other forms of force, light is found 
to be capable of direct conversion into motion, and of being like 
heat, electricity, magnetism, sound, gravitation, and chemical action 
most delicately and accurately measured by the amount of motion 
thus produced. 

My research arose from the study of an anomaly. 

It is well known to scientific men that bodies appear to weigh less 
when they are hot than when they are cold ; the explanation given 
being that the ascending currents of hot air buoy up the body, so to 
speak. Wishing to get rid of this and other interfering actions of the 
air during a research on the atomic weight of thallium, I had a balance 
constructed in which I could weigh in a vacuum. I still, indeed, 
found my apparatus less heavy when hot than when cold. The obvi 
ous explanations were evidently not the true ones ; obvious explana 
tions seldom are true ones, for simplicity is not a characteristic of 

An unknown disturbing cause was interfering, and the endeavor 
to find the clew to the apparent anomaly has led to the discovery of 
the mechanical action of light. 

I was long troubled by the apparent lawlessness of the actions I 
obtained. By gradually increasing the delicacy of my apparatus I 
could easily get certain results of motion when hot bodies were 
brought near them, but sometimes it was one of attraction, at others 
of repulsion, while occasionally no movement whatever was produced. 

I will try to reproduce these phenomena in this apparatus (Fig. 1). 
Here are two glass bulbs, each containing a bar of pith about three 
inches long and half an inch thick, suspended horizontally by a 
long fibre of cocoon silk. I bring a hot glass rod, or a candle, toward 
one of them, and you see that the pith is gradually attracted, follow 
ing the candle as I move it round the bulb. That seems a very defi 
nite fact ; but look at the action in the other bulb. I bring the candle, 
or a hot glass rod, near the other bar of pith, and it is strongly re 
pelled by it, much more strongly than it was attracted in the first 

Here, again, is a third fact. I bring a piece of ice near the pith-bar 
which has just been repelled by the hot rod, and it is attracted, and 
follows the rod round as a magnetic needle follows a piece of iron. 

The repulsion by radiation is the key-note of these researches. 
The movement of a small bar of pith is not very distinct, except to 
those near, and, I wish to make this repulsion evident to all. I have 
therefore arranged a piece of apparatus by which it can be seen by all 
present. I will, by means of the electric light, project an image of a 
pendulum suspended in vacuo on the screen. You see that the ap 
proach of a candle gives the bob a veritable push, and, by alternately 
obscuring and uncovering the light, I can make the pendulum beat 
time to my movements. 



What, then, is the cause of the contradictory action in these two 
bulbs attraction in one, and repulsion in the other ? It can be ex 
plained in a few words. Attraction takes place when air is present, 
and repulsion when air is absent. 

Neutrality, or no movement, is produced when the vacuum is insuf 
ficient. A minute trace of air in the 
apparatus interferes most materially 
with the repulsion, and for a long 
time I was unaware of the powerful 
action produced by radiation in a 
" perfect " vacuum. 

It is not at first sight obvious 
how ice or a cold body can produce 
the opposite effect to heat. The law 
of exchanges, however, explains this 

FIG. I. 

FIG. 2. 

perfectly. The pith-bar and the whole of the surrounding bodies are 
incessantly exchanging heat-rays ; and under ordinary circumstances 
the income and expenditure of heat are in equilibrium. Let me draw 
your attention to the diagram (Fig. 2), illustrating what takes place 
when I bring a piece of ice near the apparatus. The centre circle 
represents my piece of pith ; the arrows show the influx and efflux of 
heat. A piece of ice brought near cuts off the influx of heat from one 
side, and therefore allows an excess of heat to fall on the pith from 
the opposite side. Attraction by a cold body is therefore seen to be 
only repulsion by the radiation from the opposite side of the room. 

The later developments of this research have demanded the 
utmost refinement of apparatus. Everything has to be conducted in 
glass vessels, and these must be blown together till they make one 
piece, for none but fused joints are admissible. In an investigation 
depending for its successful prosecution on manipulative dexterity, I 
have been fortunate in having the assistance of my friend Mr. Charles 
Gimingham. All the apparatus you see before you are the fruits of 
his skillful manipulation, and I now want to draw your attention to 


what I think is a masterpiece of glass-working the pump which en 
ables me so readily to produce a vacuum unattainable by ordinary 

The pump here at work is a modification of the Sprengel pump, 
but it contains two or three valuable improvements. I cannot at 
tempt to describe the whole of the arrangements, but I will rapidly 
run over them as illuminated by the electric light. It has a triple- 
fall tube in which the mercury is carried down, thus exhausting with 
threefold rapidity; it has Dr. McLeod s beautiful arrangement for 
measuring the residual gas ; it has gauges in all directions, and a 
small radiometer attached to it to tell the amount of exhaustion that 
I get in any experiments ; it has a contrivance for admitting oil of 
vitriol into the tubes without interfering with the progress of the 
exhaustion, and it is provided with a whole series of most ingenious 
vacuum-taps devised by Mr. Gimingham. The exhaustion produced 
in this pump is such that a current of electricity from an induction- 
coil will not pass across the vacuum. This pump is now exhausting 
a torsion-balance, which will be described presently. Another pump, 
of a similar kind but less complicated, is exhausting an apparatus 
which has enaWed me to pass from the mere exhibition of the phe 
nomena to the obtaining of quantitative measurements. 

A certain amount of force is exerted when a ray of light or heat 
falls on the suspended pith, and I wished to ascertain 

1. What were the actual rays invisible heat, luminous, or ultra 
violet which caused this action ? 

2. What influence had the color of the surface on the action ? 

3. Was the amount of action in direct proportion to the amount 
of radiation ? 

4. What was the amount of force exerted by radiation ? 

I required an apparatus which would be easily moved by the im 
pact of light on it, but which would readily return to zero, so that 
measurements might be obtained of the force exerted when different 
amounts of light acted on it. At first I made an apparatus on the 
principle of Zollner s horizontal pendulum. For a reason that will be 
explained presently, I am unable to show you the apparatus at work, 
but the principle of it is shown in the diagram (Fig. 3). The pendu 
lum represented by this horizontal line has a weight at the end. It is 
supported on two fibres of glass, one stretched upward and the other 
stretched downward, both firmly fastened at the ends, and also at 
tached to the horizontal rod (as shown in the figure) at points near 
together, but not quite opposite to one another. 

It is evident that if there is a certain amount of pull upon each of 
these fibres, and that the pull can be so adjusted as to counteract the 
weight at the end and keep it horizontal, the nearer the beam ap 
proaches the horizontal line the slower its rate of oscillation. If I 
relax the tension, by throwing the horizontal beam downward, I get a 


more rapid oscillation sideways. If I turn the leveling-screw so as 
to raise the beam and weight, the nearer it approaches the horizontal 
position the slower the oscillation becomes, and the more delicate is 
the instrument. Here is the actual apparatus that I tried to work 
with. The weight at the end is a piece* of pith ; in the centre is a 
glass mirror, on which to throw a ray of light, so as to enable me to 
see the movements by a luminous index. The instrument, inclosed in 
glass and exhausted of air, was mounted on a stand with leveling- 
screws, and with it I tried the action of a ray of light falling on the 
pith. I found that I could get any amount of sensitiveness that I 
liked ; but it was not only sensitive to the impact of a ray of light, it 
was immeasurably more so to a change of horizontality. It was, in 
fact, too delicate for me to work with. The slightest elevation of one 
end of the instrument altered the sensitiveness, or the position of the 

FIG. 3. 

FIG. 4. 

zero-point, to such a degree that it was impossible to try any experi 
ments with it in such a place as London. A person stepping from 
one room to another altered the position of the centre of gravity of 
the house. If I walked from one side of my own laboratory to the 
other, I tilted the house over sufficiently to upset the equilibrium of 
the apparatus. Children playing in the street disturbed it. Prof. 
Rood, who has worked with an apparatus of this kind in America, 
finds that an elevation of its side equal to 360 ooooo P art of an inch is 
sufficient to be shown on the instrument. It was therefore out of the 
question to use an instrument of this construction, so I tried another 
form (shown in Fig. 4), in which a fine glass beam, having disks of 
pith at each end, is suspended horizontally by a fine glass fibre, the 
whole being sealed up in glass and perfectly exhausted. To the cen 
tre of oscillation a glass mirror is attached. 

Now, a glass fibre has the property of always coming back to zero 
when it is twisted out of its position. It is almost, if not quite, a per 
fectly elastic body. I will show this by a simple experiment. This 
is a long glass fibre hanging vertically, and having an horizontal bar 


suspended on it. I hold the bar, and turn it half round ; it swings 
backward and forward for a few times, but it quickly comes back to 
its original position. However much twist, however much torsion, 
may be put on this, it always returns ultimately to the same position. 
I have twisted glass fibres round and kept them in a permanent state 
of twist more than a hundred complete revolutions, and they always 
came back accurately to zero. The principle of an instrument that I 
shall describe farther on depends entirely on this property of glass. 

Instead of using silk to suspend the torsion-beam with, I employ a 
fibre of glass, drawn out very fine before the blow-pipe. A thread of 
glass of less than the thousandth of an inch in thickness is wonder 
fully strong, of great stiffness, and of perfect elasticity, so that, how 
ever much it is twisted round short of the breaking-point, it untwists 
itself perfectly when liberated. The advantage of using glass fibres 
for suspending my beam is, therefore, that it always returns accu 
rately to zero after having tried an experiment, while I can get any 
desired amount of sensitiveness by drawing out the glass fibre suffi 
ciently fine. 

Here, then, is the torsion apparatus sealed on to a Sprengel pump. 
You will easily understand the construction by reference to the dia 
gram (Fig. 4). It consists of an horizontal beam suspended by a glass 
fibre, and having disks of pith at each end coated with lampblack. 
The whole is inclosed in a glass case, made of tubes blown together, 
and by means of the pump the air is entirely removed. In the centre 
of the horizontal beam is a silvered mirror, and a ray from the electric 
light is reflected from it on to a scale in front, where it is visible as a 
small circular spot of light. It is evident that an angular movement 
of the torsion-beam will cause the spot of light to move to the right 
or to the left along the scale. I will first show you the wonderful 
sensitiveness of the apparatus. I simply place my finger near the 
pith-disk at one end, and the warmth is quite sufficient to drive the 
spot of light several inches along the scale. It has now returned to 
zero, and I place a candle near it. The spot of light flies off the scale. 
I now bring the candle near it alternately from one side to the other, 
and you see how perfectly it obeys the force of the candle. I think 
the movement is almost better seen without the screen than with it. 
The fog, which has been so great a detriment to every one elsej is 
rather in my favor, for it shows the luminous index like a solid bar of 
light swaying to and fro across the room. The warmth of my finger, 
or the radiation from a candle, is therefore seen to drive the pith- 
disk away. Here is a lump of ice, and on bringing it near one of the 
disks the luminous index promptly shows a movement of apparent 

With this apparatus I have tried many experiments, and among 
others I endeavored to answer the question, "Is it light, or is it heat, 
that produces the movement ? "for that is a question that is asked 


me by almost every one ; and a good many appear to think that, if 
the motion can be explained by an action of heat, all the novelty and 
the importance of the discovery vanish. Now, this question of light 
or heat is one I cannot answer, and I think that when I have ex 
plained the reason you will agree with me that it is unanswerable. 
There is no physical difference between light and heat. Here is a 
diagram of the visible spectrum (Fig. 5). The spectrum, as scientific 

PIG. 5. 

men understand it, extends from an indefinite distance beyond the red 
to an indefinite distance beyond the violet. We do not know how far 
it would extend one way or the other if no absorbing media were 
present; but, by what we may call a physiological accident, the 
human eye is sensitive to a portion of the spectrum situated between 
the line A in the red to about the line H in the violet. But this is 
not a physical difference between the luminous and non-luminous 
parts of the spectrum; it is only a physiological difference. Now, the 
part at the red end of the spectrum possesses, in the greatest degree, 
the property of causing the sensation of warmth, and of dilating the 
mercury in a thermometer, and of doing other things which are con 
veniently classed among the effects of heat ; the centre part affects 
the eye, and is therefore called light ; while the part at the other end 
of the spectrum has the greatest energy in producing chemical action. 
But it must not be forgotten that any ray of the spectrum, from what 
ever part it is selected, will produce all these physical actions in more 
or less degree. A ray here, at the letter C for instance in the orange, 
if concentrated on the bulb of a thermometer, will cause the mercury 
to dilate, and thus show the presence of heat ; if concentrated on my 
hand I feel warmth ; if I throw it on the face of a thermo-pile it will 
produce a current of electricity ; if I throw it upon a sensitive photo 
graphic plate it will produce chemical action ; and if I throw it upon 
the instrument I have just described it will produce motion. What, 
then, am I to call that ray ? Is it light, heat, electricity, chemical 
action, or motion ? It is neither. All these actions are inseparable 


attributes of the ray of that particular wave-length, and are not evi 
dences of separate identities. I can no more split that ray up into 
five or six different rays, each having different properties, than I can 
split up the element iron, for instance, into other elements, one pos 
sessing the specific gravity of iron, another its magnetic properties, 
a third its chemical properties, a fourth its conducting power for 
heat, and so on. A ray of light of a definite refrangibility is one and 
indivisible, just as an element is, and these different properties of the 
ray are mere functions of that refrangibility, and inseparable from it. 
Therefore when I tell you that a ray in the ultra-red pushes the in 
strument with a force of one hundred, and a ray in the most luminous 
part has a dynamic value of about half that, it must be understood 
that the latter action is not due to heat-rays which accompany the 
luminous rays, but that the action is one purely due to the wave 
length and the refrangibility of the ray employed. You now under 
stand why it is that I cannot give a definite answer to the question, 
" Is it heat or is it light that produces these movements ? " There is 
no physical difference between heat and light ; so, to avoid confusion, 
I call the total bundle of rays which come from a candle or the sun, 

I found, by throwing the pure rays of the spectrum one after the 
other upon this apparatus, that I could obtain a very definite answer 
to my first question, " What are the actual rays which cause this 
action ? " 

The apparatus was fitted up in a room specially devoted to it, and 
was protected on all sides, except where the rays of light had to pass, 
with cotton-wool and large bottles of water. A heliostat reflected a 
beam of sunlight in a constant direction, and it was received on an 
appropriate arrangement of slit, lenses, prisms, etc., for projecting a 
pure spectrum. Hesults were obtained in the months of July, August, 
and September ; and they are given in the figure (Fig. 5) graphically 
as a curve, the maximum being in the ultra-red and the minimum in 
the ultra-violet. Taking the maximum at 100, the following are the 
mechanical values of the different colors of the spectrum : 

Ultra-red . . . : . ... . ... . .100 

Extreme red . . . . ..... . 85 

Red . . . . . . .73 

Orange . . . . . . . . 66 

Yellow . . . . . . . . . . .57 

Green ........:.... 41 

Blue . . . ... .... . . . 22 

Indigo . . , . . -... . . , .- -. .- . 8 

Violet . . . .. . . ... . . .6 

Ultra-violet ..... . . . . . . 5 

A comparison of these figures is a sufficient proof that the mechanical 
action of radiation is as much a function of the luminous rays as it is 
of the dark heat-rays. 


The second question namely, " What influence has the color of 
the surface on the action ? " has also been solved by this apparatus. 

In order to obtain comparative results between disks of pith coat 
ed with lampblack and with other substances, another torsion appa 
ratus was constructed, in which six disks in vacuo could be exposed 
one after the other to a standard light. One disk always being lamp- 
blacked pith, the other disks could be changed so as to get compari 
sons of action. Calling the action of radiation from a candle on the 
lainpblacked disk 100, the following are the proportions obtained : 

Lampblacked pith 100 

Iodide of palladium 87.3 

Precipitated silver 56 

Amorphous phosphorus 40 

Sulphate of baryta 37 

Milk of sulphur 31 

Red oxide of iron . 28 

Scarlet iodide of mercury and copper 22 

Lampblacked silver 18 

.White pith 18 

Carbonate of lead 13 

Rock-salt . . . . * . 6.5 

Glass 6.5 

This table gives important information on many points : one more 
especially the action of radiation on lampblacked pith is five and a 
half times what it is on plain pith. A bar like those used in my first 
experiment, having one-half black and one-half white, exposed to 
a broad beam of radiation, will be pushed with five and a half times 
more strength on the black than on the white half, and if freely sus 
pended will set at an angle greater or less according to the intensity 
of the radiation falling on it. 

This suggests the employment of such a bar as a photometer, and 
I have accordingly made an instrument on this principle ; its con 
struction is shown in the diagram (Fig. 6). It consists of a flat bar 
of pith, A, half black and half white, suspended horizontally in a 
bulb by means of a long silk fibre. A reflecting mirror, J?, and small 
magnet, (7, are fastened to the pith, and a controlling magnet, D, is 
fastened outside so that it can slide up and down the tube, and thus 
increase or diminish sensitiveness. The whole is completely exhaust 
ed and then inclosed in a box lined with black velvet, with apertures 
for the rays of light to pass in and out. A ray of light from a lamp, 
F, reflected from the mirror, J3. to a graduated scale, #, shows the 
movements of the pith-bar. 

The instrument fitted up for a photometric experiment is in front 
of me on the table. A beam from the electric light falls on the little 
mirror, and is thence reflected back to the screen, where it forms a 
spot of light, the displacement of which to the right or the left shows 
the movement of the pith-bar. One end of the bar is blacked on 

2 66 


each side, the other end being left plain. I have two candles, E E^ 
each twelve inches off the pith-bar, one on each side of it. When I 
remove the screens, H H^ the candle on one side will give the pith a 

Fia. 6. 

push in one direction, and the candle on the other side will give the 
pith a push in the opposite direction, and as they are the same dis 
tance off they will neutralize each other, and the spot of light will not 
move. I ILOW take the two screens away : each candle is pushing the 


pith equally in opposite directions, and the luminous index remains 
at zero. When, however, I cut one candle off, the candle on the op 
posite side exerts its full influence, and the index flies to one end of 
the scale. I cut the other one off and obscure the first, and the spot 
of light flies to the other side. I obscure them both, and the index 
comes quickly to zero. I remove the screens simultaneously, and the 
index does not move. 

I will retain one candle 12 inches off, and put two candles on the 
other side 17 inches off. On removing the screens you see the index 
does not move from zero. Now the square of 12 is 144, and the 
square of 17 is 289. Twice 144 is 288. The light of these candles, 
therefore, is as 288 to 289. They therefore balance each other as 
nearly as possible. Similarly I can balance a gaslight against a can 
dle. I have a small gas-burner here, which I place 28 inches off on 
one side, and you see it balances the candle 12 inches off. These ex 
periments show how conveniently and accurately this instrument can 
be used as a photometer. By balancing a standard candle on one side 
against any source of light on the other, the value of the latter in 
terms of a candle is readily shown ; thus in the last experiment the 
standard candle 12 inches off is -balanced by a gas-flame 28 inches 
off. The lights are, therefore, in the proportion of 12 2 to 28 2 , or as 
1 to 5.4. The gas-burner is, therefore, equal to about five and a half 

In practical work on photometry it is often required to ascertain 
the value of gas. Gas is spoken of commercially as of so many can 
dle-power. There is a certain " standard " candle which is supposed 
to be made invariable by act of Parliament. I have worked a great 
deal with these standard candles, and I find them to be among the 
most variable things in the world. They never burn with the same 
luminosity from one hour to the other, and no two candles are alike. 
I can now, however, easily get over this difficulty. I place a "stand 
ard " candle at such a distance from the apparatus that it gives a 
deflection of 100 on the scale. If it is poorer than the standard, I 
bring it nearer; if better, I put it farther off. Indeed, any candle 
may be taken ; and if it be placed at such a distance from the appa 
ratus that it will give a uniform deflection, say, of 100 divisions, the 
standard can be reproduced at any subsequent time ; and the burning 
of the candle may be tested during the photometric experiments by 
taking the deflection it causes from time to time, and altering its dis 
tance, if needed, to keep the deflection at 100 divisions. The gaslight 
to be tested is placed at such a distance on the opposite side of the 
pith-bar that it exactly balances the candle. Then, by squaring the 
distances, I get the exact proportion between the gas and the candle. 

Before this instrument can be used as a photometer or light-meas 
urer, means must be taken to cut off from it all those rays coming 
from the candle or gas which are not actually luminous. A reference 


to the spectrum diagram (Fig. 5) will show that at each end of the 
colored rays there is a large space inactive, as far as the eye is con 
cerned, but active in respect to the production of motion strongly so 
at the red end, less strong at the violet end. Before the instrument 
can be used to measure luminosity, these rays must be cut off. We 
buy gas for the light that it gives, not for the heat that it evolves on 
burning, and it would therefore never do to measure the heat and pay 
for it as light. 

It has been found that a clear plate of alum, while letting all the 
light through, is almost if not quite opaque to the heating rays below 
the red. A solution of alum in water is almost as effective as a crys 
tal of alum ; if, therefore, I place in front of the instrument glass 
cells containing an aqueous solution of alum, the dark heat-rays are 
filtered off. 

But the ultra-violet rays still pass through, and to cut these off I 
dissolve in the alum-solution a quantity of sulphate of quinine. This 
body has the property of cutting off the ultra-violet rays from a point 
between the lines G and If. A combination of alum and sulphate of 
quinine, therefore, limits the action to those rays which affect the hu 
man eye, and the instrument, such as you see it before you, becomes 
a true photometer. 

This instrument, when its sensitiveness is not deadened by the 
powerful control magnet I am obliged to keep near it for these ex 
periments, is wonderfully sensible to light. In my own laboratory, a 
candle thirty-six feet off produces a decided movement, and the mo 
tion of the index increases inversely with the square of the distance, 
thus answering the third question, " Is the amount of action in direct 
proportion to the amount of radiation ? " 

The experimental observations and the numbers which are required 
by the theoretical diminution of light with the square of the distance 
are sufficiently close, as the following figures show : 

Candle 6 feet off gives a deflection of 218 

12 " " 54.0 

18 " " 24.5 

24 " " 13.0 

10 " " 77.0 

20 " " 19.0 

30 " " 8.5 

The effect of two candles side by side is practically double, and of 
three candles three times that of one candle. 

In the instrument just described, the candle acts on a pith-bar, 
one end of which is blacked on each side. But suppose I black the 
bar on alternate halves, and place a light near it sufficiently strong to 
drive the bar half round. The light will now have presented to it 
another black surface in the same position as the first, and the bar 
will be again driven in the same direction half round. This action will 




be again repeated, the differential action of the light on the black and 
white surfaces keeps the bar moving, and the result will be rotation. 

Here is such a pith-bar, blacked on alternate sides, and sus 
pended in an exhausted glass bulb (Fig. 7). I project its image on 
the screen, and the strong light which shines on it sets 
it rotating with considerable velocity. Now it is slacken 
ing speed, and now it has stopped altogether. The bar 
is supported on a fibre of silk, which has twisted round 
till the rotation is stopped by the accumulated torsion. I 
put a water-screen between the bar and the electric light 
to cut off some of the active rays, and the silk untwists, 
turning the bar in the opposite direction. I now remove 
the water, and the bar revolves rapidly as at first. 

From suspending the pith 
on a silk fibre to balancing it 
on a point the transition is 
slight ; the interfering action 
of torsion is thereby removed, 
and the instrument rotates 
continuously under the influ 
ence of radiation. Many of 
these little pieces of appara 
tus, to which I have given 
the name of radiometers, are 
on the table, revolving with 
more or less speed. The dia 
gram (Fig. 8) shows their 
construction, which is very 
simple. They are formed of 
four arms of very fine glass, 

I \ / supported in the centre by a 

y >/ needle-point, and having at 

the extremities thin disks of 
pith lampblacked on one side, 
the black surfaces all facing the same way. The needle stands in a 
glass cup, and the arms and diftks are delicately balanced so as to re 
volve with the slightest impetus. 

Here are some rotating by the light of a candle. 

rather an historical instrument, being the first one in which I saw ro 
tation. It goes very slowly in comparison with the others, but it is 
not bad for the first instrument of the sort that was ever made. 

I will now, by means of a vertical lantern, throw on the screen the 
projection of one of these instruments, so as to show the movement 
rather better than you could see it on the table. The electric light 
falling vertically downward on it, and much of the power being cut 
off by water and alum screens, the rotation is slow. I bring a candle 

FIG. 7. 



near and the speed increases. I now lift the radiometer up, and place 
it full in the electric light, projecting its image direct on the screen, 
and it goes so rapidly that if I had not cut out the four pieces of pith 
of different shapes you would have been unable to follow the movement. 

The speed with which a sensitive radiometer will revolve in the 
sun is almost incredible ; and the electric light, such as I have it in 
this lantern, cannot be far short of full sunshine. Here is the most 
sensitive instrument I have yet made, and I project its image on the 
screen, letting the full blaze of the electric light shine upon it. Noth 
ing is seen but an undefined nebulous ring, which becomes at times 
almost invisible. The number of revolutions per second cannot be 
counted, but they must be several hundreds, for one candle has made 
it spin round forty times a second. 

I have called the instrument the radiometer because it will enable 
me to measure the intensity of radiation falling on it by counting the 
revolutions in a given time ; the law being that the rapidity of revo 
lution is inversely as the square of the distance between the light and 
the instrument. 

When exposed to different numbers of candles at the same distance 
off, the speed of revolution in a given time is in proportion to the 
number of candles ; two candles giving twice the rapidity of one can 
dle, and three, three times, etc. 

The position of the light in the horizontal plane of the instrument 
is of no consequence, provided the distance is not altered ; thus two 
candles, one foot off, give the same number of revolutions per second, 
whether they are side by side or opposite to each other. From this 
it follows that if the radiometer is brought into a uniformly lighted 
space it will continue to revolve. 

It is easy to get rotation in a radiometer without having the sur 
faces of the disks differently colored. Here is one having the pith- 
disks blacked on both sides. I project its image on the screen, and 
there is no movement. I bring a candle near it, and shade the light 
from one side, when rapid rotation is produced, which is at once altered 
in direction by moving the shade to the other side. 

I have arranged here a radiometer so that it can be made to move 
by a very faint light, and at the same* time its rotation is easily fol 
lowed by all present. In this bulb is a large six-armed radiometer 
carrying a mirror in its centre. The mirror is almost horizontal, but 
not quite so, and therefore, when I throw a beam of electric light ver 
tically downward on to the central mirror, the light is reflected off at 
a slight angle, and, as the instrument rotates, its movement is shown 
by the spot of light traveling round the ceiling in a circle. Here 
again the fog helps us, for it gives us an imponderable beam of light 
moving round the room like a solid body, and saving you the trouble 
of looking up at the ceiling. I now set the radiometer moving round 
by the light of a candle, and I want to show you that colored light 


does not very much interfere with the movement. I place yellow 
glass in front, and the movement is scarcely diminished at all. Very 
deep-colored glass, you see, diminishes it a little more. Blue and 
green glass make it go a little slower, but still do not diminish the 
speed one-half. I now place a screen of water in front : the instru 
ment moves with diminished velocity, rotating with about one-fourth 
its original speed. 

Taking the action produced by a candle-flame as .... 100 
Yellow glass reduces it to 89 







I now move the candle a little distance off, so as to make the in 
strument move slower, and bring a flask of boiling water close to it. 
See what happens. The luminous index no longer moves steadily, 
but in jerks. Each disk appears to come up to the boiling water with 
difficulty, and to hurry past it. More and more sluggishly do they 
move past, until now one has failed to get by, and the luminous beam, 
after oscillating to and fro a few times, comes to rest. I now gradu 
ally bring the candle near. The index shows no movement. Nearer 
still. There is now a commencement of motion, as if the radiometer 
were trying to push past the resistance offered by the hot water ; but 
it is not until I have brought the candle to within a few inches of the 
glass globe that rotation is recommenced. On these pith radiometers 
the action of dark heat is to repel the black and white surfaces almost 
equally, and this repulsion is so energetic as to overcome the rotation 
caused by the candle, and to stop the instrument. 

With a radiometer constructed of a good conductor of heat, such 
as metal, the action of dark heat is different. Here is one made of 
silvered copper, polished on one side and lampblacked on the other. 
I have set it moving with a candle slightly the normal way. Here is 
a glass shade heated so that it feels decidedly warm to the hand. I 
cover the radiometer with it, and the rotation first stops, and then 
recommences the reverse way. On removing the hot shade the 
reverse movement ceases and normal rotation recommences. 

If, however, I place a hot glass shade over a pith radiometer, the 
arms at once revolve the normal way, as if I had exposed the instru 
ment to light. The diametrically opposite behavior of a pith and a 
metal instrument when exposed to the dark heat radiated from a hot 
glass shade is very striking. The explanation of the action is not 
easy, but it depends on the fact that the metal is one of the best con 
ductors of heat, while pith is one of the worst. 

One more experiment with this metallic radiometer, 
strono-ly with a spirit-lamp, and the arms spin round rapidly. Now 

2 7 2 


the whole bulb is hot, and I remove the lamp : see what happens. 
The rotation quickly diminishes. Now it is at rest ; and now it is 
spinning round just as fast the reverse way. I can produce this 
reverse movement only with difficulty with a pith instrument. The 
action is due to the metal being a good conductor of heat. As it 
absorbs heat it moves one way ; as it radiates heat it moves the op 
posite way. 

At first I made these instruments of the very lightest material 
possible, some of them not weighing more than half a grain ; and, 
where extreme sensitiveness is required, lightness is essential. But 
the force which carries them round is quite strong enough to move a 
much greater weight. Thus the metallic instrument I have just ex 
perimented with weighs over thirteen grains, and here is one still 
heavier, made of four pieces of looking-glass blacked on the silvered 
side, which are quickly sent round by the impact of this imponderable 
agent, and flash the rays of light all round the room when the electric 
lamp is turned on the instrument. 

Before dismissing this instrument let me show one more experi 
ment. I place the looking-glass and the metal radiometer side by 
side, and, screening the light from them, they come almost to rest. 
Their temperature is the same as that of the room. What will hap- 



pen if I suddenly chill them ? I pour a few drops of ether on each of 
the bulbs. Both instruments begin to revolve. But notice the differ 
ence. While the movement in the case of the metal radiometer is 
direct, that of the looking-glass instrument is reverse. And yet to a 
candle they both rotate the same way, the black being repelled. 


Now, having found that this force would carry round a compara 
tively heavy weight, another useful application suggested itself. If 
I can carry round heavy mirrors or plates of copper, I can carry 
round a magnet. Here, then (Fig. 9), is an instrument carrying a 
magnet, and outside is a smaller magnet, delicately balanced in a ver 
tical position, having the south pole at the top and the north pole at 
the bottom. As the inside magnet comes round, the outside magnet, 
being delicately suspended on its centre, bows backward and forward, 
and, making contact at the bottom, carries an electric current from a 
battery to a Morse instrument. A ribbon of paper is drawn through 
the " Morse " by clock-work, and at each contact at each revolution 
of the radiometer a record is printed on the strip of paper by dots ; 
close together if the radiometer revolves quickly, farther apart if it 
goes slower. 

Here the inner magnet is too strong to allow the radiometer to 
start with a faint light without some initial impetus. Imagine the 
instrument to be on the top of a mountain, away from everybody, 
and I wish to start it in the morning. Outside the bulb are a few 
coils of insulated copper wire, and by depressing the key for an in 
stant I pass an electric current from the battery through them. The 
interior magnet is immediately deflected from its north-south position, 
and the impetus thus gained enables the light to keep up the rotation. 
In a proper meteorological instrument I should have an astatic com 
bination inside the bulb, so that a very faint light would be sufficient 
to start it, but in this case I am obliged to set it going by an electric 
current. I have placed a candle near the magnetic radiometer. I 
now touch the key ; the instrument immediately responds ; the paper 

FIG. 10. 

unwinds from the Morse instrument, and on it you will see dots in 
regular order. I put the candle eight inches off, and the dots come 
wide apart. I place it five and three-quarters inches off, and two dots 
come where one did before. I bring the candle four inches from the 
instrument, and the dots become four times as numerous (Fig. 10), 
thus recording automatically the intensity of the light falling on the 

VOL. IX. 18 


instrument, and proving that in this case also the radiometer obeys 
the law of inverse squares. 

This instrument, the principle of which I have illustrated to-night, 
is not a mere toy or scientific curiosity, but it is capable of giving 
much useful information in climatology. You are well aware that the 
temperature, the rainfall, the atmospheric pressure, the direction and 
force of the wind, are now carefully studied in most countries, in 
order to elucidate their sanitary condition, their animal and vegetable 
productions, and their agricultural capabilities. But one most im 
portant element, the amount of light received at any given place, has 
been hitherto but very crudely and approximately estimated, or rather 
guessed at. Yet it cannot be denied that sunlight has its effect upon 
life and health, vegetable, animal, and human, and that its relative 
amount at any place is hence a point of no small moment. The diffi 
culty is now overcome by such an instrument as this. The radiom 
eter may be permanently placed on some tall building, or high moun 
tain, and, by connecting it by telegraphic wires to a central observa 
tory, an exact account can be kept of the proportion of sunlight 
received in different latitudes, and at various heights above the sea- 
level. Furthermore, our records of the comparative temperature of 
different places have been hitherto deficient. The temperature of a 
country depends partly on the amount of rays which it receives direct 
from the sun, and partly on the atmospheric and oceanic currents, 
warm or cold, which sweep over or near it. The thermometer does not 
discriminate between these influences ; but the radiometer will enable 
us now to distinguish how much of the annual temperature of a place 
is due to the direct influence of the sun alone, and how much to the 
other factors above referred to. 

I now come to the last question which I stated at the beginning 
of this lecture, " What is the amount of force exerted by radiation ? n 
Well, I can calculate out the force in a certain way, from data sup 
plied by this torsion apparatus (Fig. 4). Knowing the weight of the 
beam, the power of the torsion fibre of glass, its time of oscillation, 
and the size of the surface acted on, it is not difficult to calculate the 
amount of force required to deflect the beam through a given angle ; 
but I want to get a more direct measure of the force. I throw a ray 
of light upon one of these instruments, and it gives a push ; surely it 
is possible to measure the amount of this push in parts of a grain. 
This I have succeeded in doing in the instrument behind me ; but be 
fore showing the experiment I want to illustrate the principle upon 
which it depends. Here is a very fine glass fibre suspended from an 
horizontal bar, and I wish to show you the strength of it. The fibre 
is only a few thousandths of an inch thick ; it is about three feet long, 
and at the lower end is hanging a scale-pan, weighing 100 grains. 
So I start with a pull of 100 grains on it. I now add little lead 
weights, 50 grains each, till it breaks. It bears a pull of 750 grains, 


but gives way when additional weight is added. You see, then, the 
great strength of a fibre of glass, so fine as to be invisible to all who 
are not close to it, to resist a tensile strain. 

Now I will illustrate another equally important property of a glass 
thread, viz., its power to resist torsion. Here is a a still finer glass 
thread, stretched horizontally between two supports ; and in order to 
show its position I have put little jockeys of paper on it. One end is 
cemented firmly to a wooden block, and the other end is attached to 
a little instrument called a counter a little machine for registering 
the number of revolutions. I now turn this handle till the fibre 
breaks, and the counter will tell me how many twists I have given 
this fibre of glass. You see it breaks at twenty revolutions. This is 
rather a thicker fibre than usual. I have had them bear more than 
200 turns without breaking, and some that I have worked with are so 
fine that if I hold one of them by the end it curls itself up and floats 
about the room like a piece of spider s thread. 

Having now illustrated these properties of glass fibres, I will try 
to show a very delicate experiment. I want to ascertain the amount 
of pressure which radiation exerts on a blackened surface. I will put 
a ray of light on the pan of a balance, and give you its weight in 
grains, for I think in this Institution and before this audience I may 
be allowed a scientific use of the imagination, and may speak of 
weighing that which is not affected by gravitation. 

The principle of the instrument is that of W. Ritchie s torsion 
balance, described by him in the " Philosophical Transactions" for 
1830. The construction is somewhat complicated, but it can be made 
out on reference to the diagram (Fig. 11). A light beam, A B, having 
two square inches of pith, (7, at one end, is balanced on a very fine 
fibre of glass, D D , stretched horizontally in a tube; one end of the 
fibre being connected with a torsion handle, JE, passing through the 
tube, and indicating angular movements on a graduated circle. 
The beam is cemented to the torsion fibre, and the whole is inclosed 
in glass, and connected with the mercury pump by a spiral tube, F, 
and exhausted as perfectly as possible. G is a spiral spring, to keep 
the fibre in a uniform state of tension. His a piece of cocoon silk. 
I is a glass stopper, which is ground into the tube as perfectly as 
possible, and then highly polished and lubricated with melted India- 
rubber, which is the only substance I know that allows perfect lubri- 
, cation and will still hold a vacuum. The pith, (7, represents the 
scale-pan of the balance. The cross-beam A B, which carries it, is 
cemented firmly to the thin glass fibre, Z>, and in the centre is a piece 
of mirror, K. Now, the cross-beam A B and the fibre D being rigidly 
connected together, any twist which I give to the torsion handle E 
will throw the beam out of adjustment. If, on the other hand, I 
place a weight on the piece of pith C, that end of the beam will fall 
down, and I "shall have to turn the handle, E, round and round a cer- 


tain number of times, until I have put sufficient torsion on the fibre D 
to lift up the beam. Now, according to the law of torsion, the force 
with which a perfectly elastic body like glass tends to untwist itself 
is directly proportional to the number of degrees through which it 
has been twisted ; therefore, knowing how many degrees of torsion I 


must put on the fibre to lift up the ji-g- of a grain weight, I can tell 
how many degrees of torsion are required to lift up any other weight ; 
and conversely, putting an unknown weight or pressure on the pith, 
I can find its equivalent in grains by seeing how much torsion it is 
equal to. Thus, if y-J^ of a grain requires 10,000 of torsion, -^ of 
a grain would require 20,000 ; and conversely, a weight which re 
quired 5,000 torsion would weigh ^ a of a grain. Once knowing 
the torsion equivalent of y-^- of a grain, the ratio of the known to 
the unknown weights is given by the degrees of torsion. 

Having thus explained the working of the torsion balance I will 
proceed to the actual experiment. On the central mirror I throw a 
ray from the electric light, and the beam reflected on a particular 
spot of the ceiling will represent zero. The graduated circle 7of the 
instrument also stands at zero, and the counter which I fasten on at 
the end L stands at 0. The position of the spot of light reflected 
from the little concave mirror being noted, the torsion balance enables 
me to estimate the pressure or weight of a beam of light to a sur 
prising degree of exactness. I lift up my little iron weight by means 
of a magnet (for working in a vacuum I am restricted in the means 
of manipulating), and drop it in the centre of the pith : it knocks the 
scale-pan down, as if I had placed a pound weight upon an ordinary 
balance, and the index-ray of light has flown far from the zero-point 
on the ceiling. I now put torsion on the fibre to bring the beam again 
into equilibrium. The index-ray is moving slowly back again. At 
last it is at zero, and on looking at the circle and counter I see that I 
have had to make 27 complete revolutions and 301, or 27x360 + 
301 = ] 0,021, before the force of torsion would balance the T fg- 
of a grain. 

I now remove the weight from the pith-pan of my balance, and 
liberate the glass thread from torsion by twisting it back again. Now 
the spot of light on the ceiling is at zero, and the counter and index 
are again at 0. 

Having thus obtained the value of the ^ of a grain in torsion 
degrees, I will get the same for the radiation from a candle. I place 
a lighted candle exactly 6 inches from the blackened surface, and on 
removing the screen the pith scale-pan falls down, and the index-ray 
again flies across the ceiling. I now turn the torsion handle, and in 
much less time than in the former case the ray is brought back to 
zero. On looking at the counter I find it registers four revolutions, 
and the index points to 188, making altogether 360 x 4 + 188 = 1628, 
through which the torsion fibre has to be twisted to balance the light 
of the candle. 

It is an easy calculation to convert this into parts of a grain weight ; 
10,021 torsion degrees representing 0.01 grain, 1628 torsion degrees 
represent 0.001624 grain. 

10,021 : 0.01 grain:: 1628 : 0.001624 grain. 


The radiation of a candle 6 inches oft , therefore, weighs or presses 
the two square inches of blackened pith with a weight of 0.001624 
grain. In my own laboratory, working with this torsion balance, I 
found that a candle 6 inches off gave a pressure of 0.001772 grain. 
The difference is only 0.000148 grain, and is fairly within the allow 
able limits of a lecture experiment. But this balance is capable of 
weighing to far greater accuracy than that. You have seen that a 
torsion of 10,021 balanced the hundredth of a grain. If I give the 
fibre 1 more twist the weight is overbalanced, as shown by the move 
ment of the index-ray on the ceiling. Now 1 of torsion is about the 
Io fto part of the whole torsion required by the ^-5- grain. It repre 
sents, therefore, the T6 ^ 00 part of the T ^ T , or the millionth part cf a 

Divide a grain-weight into a million parts, place one of them on 
the pan of the balance, and the beam will be instantly depressed ! 

Weighed in this balance the mechanical force of a candle 12 inches 
off was found to be 0.000444 grain; of a candle 6 inches off, 0.001772 
grain. At half the distance the weight of radiation should be four 
times, or 0.001776 grain; the difference between theory artd experi 
ment being only four-millionths of a grain is a sufficient proof that 
the indications of this instrument, like those of the apparatus previ 
ously described, follow the law of inverse squares. An examination 
of the differences between the separate observations and the mean 
shows that my estimate of the sensitiveness of this balance is not ex 
cessive, and that in practice it will safely indicate the millionth of a 

I have only had one opportunity of getting an observation of the 
weight of sunlight: it was taken on December 13th, but the sun was 
so obscured by thin clouds and haze that it was only equal to 10.2 
candles 6 inches off. Calculating from this datum, it is seen that the 
pressure of sunshine is 2.3 tons per square mile. 

But, however fair an equivalent ten candles may be for a London 
sun in December, a midsummer sun in a cloudless sky has a very dif 
ferent value. Authorities differ as to its exact equivalent, but I under 
estimate it at 1,000 candles 12 inches off. 

Let us see what pressure this will give: A candle 12 inches off, 
acting on 2 square inches of surface, was found equal to 0.000444 
grain; the sun, equaling 1,000 candles, therefore gives a pressure of 
0.444000 grain ; that is equal to about 32 grains per square foot, to 2 
cwts. per acre, 57 tons per square mile, or nearly 3,000,000,000 tons 
on the exposed surface of the globe sufficient to knock the earth out 
of its orbit if it came upon it suddenly. 

It may be said that a force like this must alter our ordinary ideas 
of gravitation ; but it must be remembered that we only know the 
force of gravity as between bodies such as they actually exist, and we 
do not know what this force would be if the temperatures of the gravi- 


tating masses were to undergo a change. If the sun is gradually 
cooling, possibly its attractive force is increasing, but the rate will be 
so slow that it will probably not be detected by our present means 
of research. 

While showing this experiment I wish to have it distinctly under 
stood that I do not attach the least importance to the actual numeri 
cal results. I simply wish to show you the marvelous sensitiveness 
of the apparatus with which I am accustomed to work. I may, indeed, 
say that I know these rough estimates to be incorrect. It must be* 
remembered that our earth is not a lampblacked body inclosed in a 
glass case, nor is its shape such as to give the maximum of surface 
with the minimum of weight. The solar forces which perpetually pour 
on it are not simply absorbed and degraded into radiant heat, but arc 
transformed into the various forms of motion we see around us, and 
into the countless forms of vegetable, animal, and human activity. 
The earth, it is true, is poised in vacuous space, but it is surrounded 
by a cushion of air; and, knowing how strongly a little air stops the 
movement of repulsion, it is easy to conceive that the sun s radiation 
through this atmospheric layer may not produce any important amount 
of repulsion. It is true the upper surface of our atmosphere must pre 
sent a very cold front, and this might suffer repulsion by the sun ; but 
I have said enough to show how utterly in the dark we are as to the 
cosmical bearings of this action of radiation, and further speculation 
would be but waste of time. 

It may be of interest to compare these experimental results with a 
calculation made in 1873, before any knowledge of these facts had 
been made public. 

Prof. Clerk Maxwell, in his " Electricity and Magnetism," vol. ii., 
p. 391, writes as follows : " The mean energy in one cubic foot of sun 
light is about 0.0000000882 of a foot-pound, and the mean pressure on 
a square foot is 0.0000000882 of a pound-weight. A flat body exposed 
to sunlight would experience this pressure on its illuminated side only, 
and would therefore be repelled from the side on which the light 

Calculated out, this gives the pressure of sunlight equal to about 
two and a half pounds per square mile. Between the two and a half 
pounds deduced from calculation and the fifty-seven tons obtained 
from experiment the difference is great ; but not greater than is often 
the case between theory and experiment. 

In conclusion, I beg to call especial attention to one not unimpor 
tant lesson which may be gathered from this discovery. It will be at 
once seen that the whole springs from the investigation of an anomaly. 
Such a result is by no means singular. Anomalies may be regarded 
as the finger-posts along the high-road of research, pointing to the 
by-ways which lead to further discoveries. As scientific men are 
well aware, our way of accounting for any given phenomenon is not 


always perfect. Some point is perhaps taken for granted, some pe 
culiar circumstance is overlooked. Or else our explanation agrees 
with the facts not perfectly, but merely in an approximate manner, 
leaving a something still to be accounted for. Now, these residual 
phenomena, these very anomalies, may become the guides to new and 
important revelations. 

In the course of my research anomalies have sprung up in every 
direction. I have felt like a traveler navigating some mighty river 
in an unexplored continent. I have seen to the right and the left 
other channels opening out, all claiming investigation, and promising 
rich rewards of discovery for the explorer who shall trace them to 
their source. Time has not allowed me to undertake the whole of a 
task so vast and so manifold. I have felt compelled to follow out, as 
far as lay in my power, my original idea, passing over reluctantly the 
collateral questions springing up on either hand. To these I must 
now invite the attention of my fellow- workers in science. There is 
ample room for many inquirers. 

Nor must we forget that the more rigidly we scrutinize our re 
ceived theories, our routine explanations and interpretations of Nature, 
and the more frankly we admit their shortcomings, the greater will be 
our ultimate reward. In the practical world fortunes have been real 
ized from the careful examination of what has been ignorantly thrown 
aside as refuse ; no less, in the sphere of science, are reputations to be 
made by the patient investigation of anomalies. Advance Sheets of 
Quarterly Journal of Science. 




A FEW years ago the scientific world was startled by the asser 
tion made by Charpentier and Agassiz, who had been study 
ing the glacial phenomena of Switzerland that at no very remote 
period, geologically speaking, the climate of the northern hemisphere 
had been very much colder than at present ; and that the arctic con 
ditions which now prevail in Greenland with perpetual snow-sheets, 
and glaciers reaching the sea extended as far south as the middle of 
the present temperate zone. 

At first, seriously questioned by most, strenuously denied by some, 
this theory was found to be sustained by such abundant and indis 
putable evidence the inscriptions left by the glaciers themselves 
that it was not long before it had secured a general acceptance from 
.geologists. Since then there has been a vast amount of theorizing 


and investigation, to determine if possible the causes of these remark 
able changes of climate. 

Up to the present time, however, no theory has been proposed 
which has been sustained by really satisfying evidence, and there is 
still much difference of opinion on the question among those who 
know most about it. 

As the subject is one of peculiar geological significance, and great 
dramatic interest, I venture to bring forward some notes upon it, taken 
from the geologist s standpoint, hoping that they may contribute in 
some slight degree to the solution of the problem. 

The theories which have been proposed to account for the cold of 
the Ice period divide themselves into two groups, viz., the cosmical 
and terrestrial ; or those which invoke extraneous or astronomical in 
fluences, and those which look to changes in the earth itself, or on its 
surface, for a sufficient cause or causes. 

In the first category may be enumerated the theory of Prof. Croll, 
that variations in the eccentricity of the earth s orbit have induced 
great alternations of climate on portions of the earth s surface ; that of 
Belt and Drayson, which supposes the known variability of the angle 
of the pole with the ecliptic to have been at times sufficiently great 
to have brought arctic conditions locally down into the temperate 
zone ; also, the speculations that the heat evolved from the sun has 
been variable in quantity, that the earth has at various times passed 
through cold spaces in the universe, etc. 

In the second category are the views first put forth by Lyell, ac 
cording to which all the variations of climate recorded in geological 
history have been induced by changes in the earth itself or on its 

In this paper I shall consider only the latter theory, leaving the 
discussion of the astronomical aspects of the subject to astronomers, 
mathematicians, and physicists, who alone are competent to thor 
oughly investigate them. 

The explanation given by Lyell of the cold of the Ice period is in 
conformity with his characteristic conservatism. It is well known 
that the climatic conditions of all parts of the earth s surface are pro 
foundly affected by their topographical features. This may be seen 
at a glance by reference to any map on which the isothermal lines are 
delineated. Continental surfaces are known to be productive of ex 
tremes of temperature, while the climate of sea areas is comparatively 
equable ; and the general character of the climate of land and water 
surfaces is further and locally affected by the configuration and alti 
tude of the land, by the breadth and depth of the oceanic basins, and 
especially by the ocean-currents. The sea forms the great evaporating 
surface, and the source from which is derived the enormous quantity 
of water transported by the system of atmospheric circulation. The 
local climate of continents is also largely influenced by the winds 


which blow over them ; for these determine, to a considerable degree, 
the temperature and the annual rainfall ; hence the volume and exca 
vating power of rivers, etc. The higher portions of continents, as 
mountain-chains and plateaux, are colder than the lowlands, and hence 
become condensers of moisture places where snow accumulates and 
glaciers are formed. 

A striking illustration of the influence of topography on climate is 
shown by the high, mountains of the tropics, where perpetual snow 
and glaciers are coexistent with extreme tropical conditions, not only 
on the same parallel, but within a narrow area. It is evident, then, 
that topographical changes such as could be easily conceived would 
readily and perfectly accomplish all the alternations of climate of 
which we have any evidence in geological history. Kecognizing the 
potency of topographical causes, Lyell sought for, and thought he 
had found, a sufficient explanation of the contrast between the cli 
mates of the Ice period and the present, in changes in the physical 
geography of the northern hemisphere; assuming and believing that 
the Glacial period was marked and caused by great elevation and 
breadth of land-surface about the pole, and, as a corollary and conse 
quence of this proposition, a depression of land and a broadening of 
oceanic surfaces in the temperate and tropical zones. 

This theory affords so simple an explanation of the problem of the 
Ice period, that it at first strongly commends itself to those who are 
most cautious and logical in their modes of thought and investiga 
tion. Modern science is eminently conservative, and one of the first 
lessons learned by the investigator of this age is, to exhaust all known 
causes of phenomena before appealing to the unknown. Still, however 
plausible this view may be, it must be sustained by solid and substan 
tial proof before it deserves to be regarded as anything but a theory, 
and before it can be accepted as a rule of faith and practice among 
geologists. Unfortunately, such proof is not cnly yet wanting, but 
there are many facts which, in the light of our present knowledge, 
seem to indicate that it will never be obtained. The theory of Lyell 
has, however, been adopted by Prof. Dana, in the last edition of his 
"Manual," where he says (p. 541), "The occurrence of an Ice period 
was probably dependent mainly, as suggested by Lyell, on the exten 
sion and elevation of the land over the higher latitudes." Prof. Dana 
has further elaborated and applied the Lyellian hypothesis by sug 
gesting that in the Glacial period barriers of land connected the 
continents of the two hemispheres, and excluded the tropical cur 
rents from the polar seas, in this way cutting off the most powerful 
equalizing influences, and inducing an exaggeration of the heat of 
the tropics and the cold of the polar regions. He also claims that 
high and broad land-surfaces in the circumpolar areas formed great 
condensers and refrigerators, upon which the moisture, freely and 
rapidly evaporated from the seething caldron of the circumscribed 


tropical seas, was precipitated to form almost universal snow-fields 
and glaciers ; certainly very favorable conditions for the production 
of many of the phenomena which characterized the Glacial period. 
It must be remembered, however, that this theory presupposes bar 
riers established not only across the North Atlantic and Pacific 
Oceans, but in the southern hemisphere as well for this also had its 
Ice period barriers connecting the widely-separated promontories 
of Cape Horn, Cape of Good Hope, and the islands of the East Indian 
Archipelago; also that, simultaneously with the existence of such bar 
riers, the tropical lands were depressed, and the sea spread its sedi 
ments over much of what is in the present age terra firma. 

In reviewing the theory proposed by Lyell and Dana, I have been 
impressed with the conviction that if the physical geography of the 
northern and southern hemispheres had been either alternately or 
simultaneously such as this theory requires, we should find some evi 
dence of it, apart from the inscriptions made by glaciers nearer the 
equator than any now exist. In the search for such evidence, however, 
I have not only failed to find it, but have, as it seems to me, found 
other things which go far to disprove the theory. 

In order to fully state the case, it will be necessary to review 
several chapters in geological history, and compare the preceding and 
also the succeeding age with that in which the climate of Greenland 
came as far south as New York. 

The results of such comparisons may be given as follows : 

I. It is known to most students of geology that, during the Tertiary 
age, the climate of all the arctic regions was warm-temperate. A 
luxuriant forest then covered Greenland, and all the northern portion 
of this continent ; such a forest as could only flourish in a climate as 
mild as that of our Middle and Southern States. 1 

According to the Lyellian hypothesis this should have been a period 
of great depression of arctic, and elevation of tropical lands ; but we 
have proof that such was not the case. On the contrary, the land 
area at the north was broader then than now, while in the tropics it 
was narrower. f 

It can be shown, too, that land-connection then existed in northern 
latitudes between Europe and America, and also between America 
and Asia. The Atlantic bridge stretched from Greenland to Iceland, 
thence to the Hebrides and Scotland, which was then part of the 

1 It has been suggested that the warmth of the Tertiary climate was simply the effect 
of the residual heat of a globe cooling from incandescence, but many facts disprove this. 
For example, the fossil plants found in our Lower Cretaceous rocks in Central North 
America indicate a temperate climate in latitude 35 to 40 in the Cretaceous age. The 
coal-flora, too, and the beds of coal, indicate a moist, equable, and warm but not hot 
climate in the Carboniferous age, millions of years before the Tertiary, and 3,000 miles 
farther south than localities where magnolias, tulip-trees, and deciduous cypresses, grew 
in the latter age. Some learned and cautious geologists even assert that there have been 
several Ice periods, one as far back as the Devonian. 


European Continent. The Pacific bridge was where Behring s Straits 
now are. 

These conclusions are deducible from the following facts : 

1. Our American flora, which began in the Cretaceous, spread in 
the Tertiary age to Europe on the one hand, and to China and Japan 
on the other; and this could only have taken place when the con 
tinents were connected. The characteristic plants of this flora have 
been found fossilized on the Upper Missouri, on Mackenzie s River, 
Disco Island, Greenland, Iceland, the island of Mull, and on the con 
tinent of Europe as far south as Italy. No collection has been made 
of Tertiary plants in Japan and China, but the living flora of these 
countries contains a large number of species identical with those found, 
either living or fossil, in North America. The remarkable similarity 
between the flora of Northeastern Asia and that of America, so clearly 
shown by Prof. Gray, is such as to demonstrate a community of origin, 
and that its place of origin was America may be fairly inferred from 
the character of the present American flora and from the facts that a 
large part of the most characteristic genera are found here in the 
Cretaceous rocks, and many of the living species in our fresh-water 

2. Marine Tertiary deposits are almost completely absent from 
the arctic lands, while they now skirt or cover most tropical continents 
and islands. 

Rocks containing marine Tertiary fossils are conclusive evidence 
of the submergence in Tertiary times of the land in the localities where 
they occur ; and they would not fail to exist over great areas in the 
arctic, had the land there been more depressed in the Tertiary age 
than now ; since most of the country which borders the Arctic Sea, 
both in America and Asia, lies but little above the sea-level. 

The Tertiary strata, that have yielded pore than three hundred 
species of land-plants at the far north* are generally fresh-water and 
marsh deposits, containing fresh-water shells and beds of lignite simi 
lar to those of the central portions of our own continent. In contrast 
to the state of things thus indicated, the marine Tertiaries, which 
form the margins of our South Atlantic and Gulf States, the West 
Indies, the Isthmus, and the northern part of South America, are au 
tomatic records of high sea or low land level, in the tropical regions 
during Tertiary times. 

These facts seem to prove that in the period when a warm-tem 
perate climate prevailed over all the arctic regions, the land was 
broader and higher than now at the north, lower and narrower at the 
south; and that barriers did then exist which excluded the tropical 
ocean-currents from the arctic sea. 

II. Just what the topography of the arctic regions was during 
the Glacial period, we have as yet no very full and accurate informa 
tion. It has been generally supposed that at least certain areas in the 


north were then high, but this cannot be said to be proved. That 
the arctic lands have been at some time raised higher than now, is 
shown by the fiords of the northern coasts, which, as first pointed out 
by Dana, must have been excavated by subaerial erosion ; but a large 
part of that erosion may have been effected in the Tertiary age, and 
perhaps it was chiefly accomplished then. 

When a dense forest clothed the arctic lands, and spread over 
continuous land-surfaces to Europe and Asia, these now half-sub 
merged fiords were valleys traversed by flowing streams; for the 
abundant Tertiary vegetation of the far north proves the country to 
have been well watered. That these fiords were filled with glaciers 
during the Ice period is certain, as the bottoms and sides of many 
of them are glaciated, but this would happen again with a depression 
of temperature, and without a depression of sea-level. The fact that 
the glaciated surface of the bottoms of fiords in Sweden and America 
passes under the sea, and reaches as far as observation can be carried, 
is not the proof of elevation it has been claimed to be, for the glaciers 
that now reach the sea must score their beds to the depth of several 
hundred feet, before their extremities are lifted up by the one-tenth 
greater gravity of water, and are floated off as icebergs. 1 

Prof. J. W. Dawson holds the view that the Glacial period was 
one of depression at the north, as he finds marine shells in the bowlder 
clay of the St. Lawrence Valley ; and he attributes much of the gla- 
ciation of Eastern North America to icebergs dragged over the sub 
merged land. 

Croll says ("Climate and Time," p. 391) : 

" The greater elevation of the land (in the Ice period) is simply assumed as 
an hypothesis to account for the cold. The facts of geology, however, are fast 
establishing the opposite conclusion, viz., that when the country was covered 
with ice, the land stood in relation to the sea at a lower level than at present, 
and that the continental periods or times, when the land stood in relation to the 
sea at a higher level than now, were the warm inter-glacial periods, when the 
country was free of snow and ice, and a mild and equable condition of climate 
prevailed. This is the conclusion toward which we are being led by the more 
recent revelations of surface-geology, and also by certain facts connected with 
the geographical distribution of plants and animals during the Glacial epoch." . 

According to the investigations of Bohtlingk and Kjerulf, Scan 
dinavia was 600 feet lower during the Glacial period than now. 
Erdmann, on the contrary, supposes that Sweden was higher during 
the Glacial epoch than at the present day, from the fact that polished 

1 Some of the huge tabular icebergs, which have been observed off the Antarctic 
Continent, projected more than 500 feet above the surface of the ocean ; and as for 
every foot above water there must have been 8.7 feet submerged, the whole thickness 
of the ice-sheet, from which these bergs were detached, must have been over 6,000 feet, 
and such a glacier must grind the sea-bottom to a depth of over 4,000 feet. (See Croll, 
" Climate and Time," p. 385.) 


rock-surfaces extend beneath the sea ; but this, as we have seen, 
proves no such thing. 

Dana bases his statement that the northern portion of our conti 
nent was highest in the Ice period on the system of deep, now-buried 
channels, by which its surface was once furrowed, and upon the fiords 
which fringe the northern coast ; but, as elsewhere stated, we have 
no proof that all, or nearly all, this erosion was not effected previous 
to the Glacial epoch. Reviewing all the facts that have been cited, 
we can at least say that the indications of elevation are not nearly so 
well marked in the Quaternary as in the Tertiary; and the evidence of 
such elevation as would shut out the tropical currents from the Arctic 
Sea in the Quaternary age is wholly wanting. 

In the Champlain epoch the northern land was greatly depressed, 
as we learn from the fact that the clays containing marine shells are 
found on the present land at* a constantly-increasing elevation as we 
go toward the north. About New York the Champlain clays reach 
from 50 to 100 feet above the ocean-level ; on Lake Champlain they 
are 400 feet, at Montreal nearly 500 feet, at Labrador 800, in Bar 
row s Straits 1,000, and at the extreme point reached by the Polaris 
Expedition, on the coast of Greenland, 1,800 feet above the sea 

On the European coast of the Atlantic we nave proof of an eleva 
tion of the land during the Tertiary, and a subsidence in the Quater 
nary, similar to those described above. Hence we may infer that in 
the Champlain epoch the topography of the arctic regions was just 
that which would be favorable for the transfer by ocean-currents of 
the heat of the tropics to the arctic, and a prevalence over the arctic 
regions of a warm climate. But it must be said that all the shells 
found in the Champlain clays, from Lake Champlain to Greenland, 
are of a decided boreal character, which indicates that during the en 
tire deposition of that formation a climate scarcely wanner than that 
of Greenland prevailed from New England northward. 

If it is true that the Glacial epoch was one of elevation at the 
north an elevation of the land much greater than the present the 
change to the depressed condition of the Champlain epoch, when the 
sea stood from 1,500 to 1,800 feet higher on the coast of Greenland 
than it now does, must have been comparatively sudden ; and if, as 
has been asserted, the depression of the Champlain epoch was com 
mon to the whole northern hemisphere, it could have been effected 
only by a great change in the figure of the earth, or by a flow of the 
ocean-waters into the polar regions, such as has been suggested by 
Adhemar and Croll. These writers hold the view that the effect of 
the extreme cold of the Glacial period was to form an ice-cap some 
miles in thickness over the arctic regions, and that this ice-cap moved 
the centre of gravity of the earth toward the pole, so that the oceanic 
waters flowed into this hemisphere and thus elevated the sea-level. 


One result of the formation of an ice-cap over the polar regions 
alternately in one and the other hemisphere might very well be, as 
claimed by Croll and admitted by Sir William Thomson, such great 
ebbs and flows of the ocean-waters as we find recorded in the Cham- 
plain clays, and the present depressed sea-level; but some more con 
clusive evidence of an ice-cap will be asked by cautious reasoners than 
these alternations of level: such evidence, for example, as universal 
glaciation over all of North America of 40 north latitude. No 
such evidence has as yet been adduced ; but, on the contrary, ob 
servers report an absence of ice-marks in the interior of the continent 
northwest of the Great Lakes. This we might take to be proof that 
the glaciers of the Ice period were limited to the highlands compar 
atively near the ocean, the source of evaporation, and that the inte 
rior was so dry then and now that no glaciers could be formed there. 
This is, however, a subject which requires further investigation. 
Whatever be its cause, the uniformity and magnitude of the change 
of sea-level from the Tertiary emergence to the Champlain submer 
gence, and then to the present, render it one of the most remarkable 
phenomena recorded in geological history, and one that with careful 
study will probably throw much light upon the great dynamical in 
fluences that have produced changes on the earth s surface. 

III. Either simultaneously or alternately with the extremes of 
warmth and cold, which we find recorded in the northern, warm and 
cold periods prevailed in the southern hemisphere. The evidences of 
a Glacial period in South America are as conclusive as on our own 
continent ; but it is difficult to conceive how barriers could, at that 
time, have been thrown across the great open oceans the South At 
lantic and South Pacific in such a way as to confine the tropical cur 
rents to the central portions of these oceans. 

We are, perhaps, not justified in saying that such barriers never 
did exist, but it will be conceded that the difficulties which oppose 
their erection there are much greater than in the northern hemisphere ; 
and the hypothesis which supposes their existence in the Glacial pe 
riod of the southern hemisphere is so entirely unsupported by facts, 
that we are compelled to regard it as mere conjecture. 

In any discussion of the phenomena and causes of the Ice period 
we are, up to the present time, somewhat limited and embarrassed for 
want of a wider range of observation. The facts are not yet all in. 
Nearly all the detailed and careful observations made on the glacial 
phenomena of the northern hemisphere have been limited to the east 
ern half of North America and the western part of the European 
Continent. Here the traces left by the glaciers are really stupendous 
in their magnitude and extent ; and we have demonstrative evidence 
that, during the Ice period, the glaciers and snow-fields of Greenland 
stretched continuously down along the Atlantic coast of North Amer 
ica to and below New York, and that the highlands of New England 


and Eastern Canada were completely covered, and probably deeply 
buried, in sheets of ice and snow. In the British Islands and Norway 
the inscriptions made by ancient glaciers are scarcely less broad and 
profound, and it is even conjectured that the bed of the shallow North 
Sea is itself glaciated throughout. These evidences of vast accumu 
lations of ice and snow on the borders of the Atlantic have led some 
theorists to suppose that the Ice period was attended, if not in part 
caused, by a far more abundant evaporation from the surface of the 
Atlantic than takes place at present ; and it has even been conjectured 
that submarine volcanoes in the tropics might have loaded the atmos 
phere with an unusual amount of moisture. This speculation seems 
to me, however, both improbable and superfluous ; improbable, be 
cause no traces of any such cataclysm have been discovered, and it is 
more than doubtful whether the generation of steam in the tropics, 
however large the quantity, would produce glaciation of the polar 
regions. The ascent of steam and heated air loaded with vapor to 
the altitude of refrigeration, would, as it seems to me, result in the 
rapid radiation of the heat into space, and the local precipitation of 
unusual quantities of rain ; and the effect of such a catastrophe would 
be slowly propagated and feebly felt in the arctic and antarctic re 
gions. The hypothesis is superfluous, because all we want, to restore 
the conditions recorded in the glaciated area, is simply a depression 
of temperature ; by this the climate of Greenland, with all the attend 
ing phenomena, would be brought down on both sides of the Atlan 
tic to the lowest point where the average annual temperature of 
Greenland prevailed. 

This is, I think, proved by the condition of Greenland itself; re 
mote as it is from evaporating surfaces of warm water, the pre 
cipitation of moisture upon that continent is, however, sufficient to 
cover it deeply under sheets of snow and ice ; the whole interior be 
ing occupied by a continental glacier ; and it is easy to see that, with 
a depression of the average annual temperature 10, the highlands of 
Labrador would be brought into the same condition. With a still 
further depression the elevated portions of New England, the Adi- 
rondacks, and the highlands north of the lakes, would be completely 
encased in snow and ice. If the flow of the St. Lawrence were ar 
rested, and the annual precipitation of the region drained by it were 
congealed, and retained from year to year, glaciers would soon form, 
and creep down from the highlands into the valleys, until the basins 
of the great lakes and the troughs of the Hudson and St. Lawrence 
would be completely filled with ice. On the eastern side of the At 
lantic this state of things would be still more rapidly reached, inas 
much as, from the effect of the Gulf Stream, the coast climate is con 
siderably more moist. 

So far, then, as the region bordering the North Atlantic is con 
cerned, a simple depression of temperature from any cause whatever, 


terrestrial or cosmical, would produce all the phenomena of the Ice 

Before we can certainly determine, however, what the nature of 
the cause producing the cold of the Ice period was, we must know 
more accurately where and how the cause operated. To accomplish 
this, observations made over all those portions of the northern 
and southern hemispheres where the traces of former glaciers are 

In a general way we know that there was a cold period throughout 
the northern hemisphere, as glacial phenomena are reported from Si 
beria and Northwestern America, somewhat similar to those which 
we find on the Atlantic coast. In regard to Siberia very much re 
mains to be learned. Nearly the whole of the northern portion of 
this great area is flat, and is deeply covered with Quaternary depos 
its ; and it has been conjectured that in the Ice period the shallow sea 
off the Siberian coast was solidly frozen throughout a great portion 
of its breadth, and thus formed an ice-dam, behind which the drain 
age of the northern slope accumulated alternately as sheets of ice 
and bodies of fresh water. 

The northern portion of the interior of our own continent is said to 
be without distinct marks of glacial action. Should this statement be 
confirmed by further observation, it would not, however, be a formida 
ble argument against a general Glacial period; for intense cold would 
leave no permanent record there, unless there was sufficient precipita 
tion of moisture to form glaciers. As this region is now very dry and 
sterile, it was perhaps so through the Ice period, and snow at no time 
fell there in sufficient quantity to form glaciers. On the mountains of 
British America and Alaska, of Oregon and California, there are 
abundant evidences of glaciers far more numerous and extensive than 
any now existing ; and these furnish demonstrative evidence that this 
region shared in the effects of a distinct Ice period. The slopes of the 
Cascade Mountains in Oregon are everywhere glaciated, and perhaps 
no more impressive record of the Ice period exists than that formed 
by the planed and furrowed surfaces, the roches moutonnees, etc., by 
which all the higher portions of the belt, twenty to thirty miles in 
width, are marked. No ice-sheet moved in that region from the north, 
as there was no district of northern highlands where continental gla 
ciers could be generated; but the glaciers radiated east and west 
from various centres along the crests of the chain, and descended at 
least 2,500 feet below the present snow line. This I determined by 
actual barometric observation in many places, and I nowhere found 
the lower limit of glacial action, as the planed and furrowed surfaces 
passed beneath the alluvium of the lower valleys. 

Whether there was a depression of the Western coast during the 
Champlain epoch, corresponding to that recorded along the shores of 
the Atlantic, we are as yet unable to say, as careful observations on 

VOL. IX. 19 


this interesting subject are wanting ; and these are not easily made 
on this iron-bound and earthquake-shaken coast, where there has been 
so little low and level land upon which Charaplain clays could be 

That this portion of the continent like the Eastern side has been 
higher than now, we learn from the deeply-excavated channels of 
the Golden Gate, the straits of Carquines, the mouth of the Colum 
bia, the Canal De Haro, etc. But this erosion was produced in part 
if not altogether in Tertiary times. At Shoalwater Bay and about 
Steilacoom, there are raised beaches, apparently of ancient date, but 
farther south the changes of level have been so frequent and local 
that nothing like system has been educed from a comparison of the 
old shore-lines. 

Taken as a whole, the glacial inscriptions of the West coast, as 
studied by King and Le Conte in California, and myself in Oregon, 
prove an Ice period as distinctly as do the glacial marks of the At 
lantic coast and the Mississippi Valley ; but the peculiar topography 
of the Western country has made the record a somewhat different one. 

From the foregoing facts it seems to me that we are justified in 
concluding : 

1. That however simple and plausible the Lyellian hypothesis may 
be, or however ingenious the extension or application of it suggested 
by Dana, it is not sustained by any proof, and the testimony of the 
rocks seems to be decidedly against it. 

2. Though much may yet be learned from a more extended and 
careful study of the glacial phenomena of all parts of both hemispheres, 
the facts already gathered seem to be incompatible with any theory 
yet advanced which makes the Ice period simply a series of telluric 
phenomena, and so far strengthens the arguments of those who look 
to extraneous and cosmical causes for the origin of these phenomena. 



AT the six hundred and eighty-ninth meeting of this body, held 
March 8, 1876, the chairman of the Rumford Committee intro 
duced the special business of the evening, and handed to the Presi 
dent, Hon. Charles Francis Adams, the Rumford medals (in gold and 
silver), on each of which had been engraved the following inscription : 
" Awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to John 
W. Draper, for his researches in radiant energy, May 25, 1875." 
In presenting the medals the President said: 


GENTLEMEN OF THE ACADEMY : The foundation of this Society, 
you all know, dates back but four years less than a century. It fol 
lowed close upon the adoption of the form of government of the State 
itself. Further than this privilege of a corporation, I am not aware 
that the State has since bestowed any aid on it whatever. During the 
long period that has intervened, the individual members have steadily 
and honestly contributed their labors and their money to the advance 
ment of science and of the arts, the evidence of which is to be found 
as well in the collections of the library as in the long series of their 
published transactions. We have not been so lucky as to earn the 
favor of the generous and wealthy at all in the proportion given to 
some other institutions of the same general character. In point of 
fact, we have to ascribe our success more to our own energies than to 
the assistance of patrons. This is no bad sign for the future. The 
Academy was never in more healthy and vigorous condition than at this 
moment. The meetings are constantly attended by members who ap 
pear to give or to receive with interest the many valuable contribu 
tions to knowledge which ultimately take their place in the formidable 
volumes open to the inspection of the world. 

Yet it is not to be understood from what I have said that the insti 
tution has been altogether without liberal assistance from several 
sources. The most remarkable instance of a benefaction was perhaps 
the earliest, that of Benjamin Thompson, better known under the name 
of Count Rumford, who, eighty years ago, presented to the Academy 
the sum of five thousand dollars, to be devoted to the stimulation of 
the study of the various phenomena connected with light and heat, by 
the presentation of medals of value as honorary rewards to successful 
research. It is to the credit of the Academy, in these degenerate days, 
to find that its administration of this property has fully justified the 
confidence of the donor, the original sum having increased more than 
fourfold over and above the cost of the medals which have from time 
to time been awarded to successful investigation of the great subjects 
proposed for study and examination. 

It now becomes my agreeable duty to announce the fact that, after 
a careful review of the meritorious service of Prof. Draper in this 
great field of inquiry, the committee having the subject in their 
charge have, for reasons given by them, recommended through their 
chairman, that the medals prescribed in the deed of trust should be 
presented to. him as having fully deserved them. It falls to my lot 
only to recapitulate in brief some of these reasons. 

In 1840 Dr. Draper independently discovered the peculiar phe 
nomena commonly known as Moser s images, which are formed when 
a medal or coin is placed upon a polished surface of glass or metal. 
These images remain, as it were, latent, until a vapor is allowed to 
condense upon the surface, when the image is developed and becomes 


At a later period he devised the method of measuring the inten 
sity of the chemical action of light, afterward perfected and employed 
by Bunsen and Roscoe in their elaborate investigations. This method 
consists in exposing to the source of light a mixture of equal volumes 
of chlorine and hydrogen gases. Combination takes place more or 
less rapidly, and the intensity of the chemical action of the light is 
measured by the diminution in volume. No other known method 
compares with this in accuracy, and most valuable results have been 
obtained by its use. 

In an elaborate investigation, published in 1847, Dr. Draper estab 
lished experimentally the following important facts : 

1. All solid substances, and probably liquids, become incandescent 
at the same temperature. 

2. The thermometric point at which substances become red-hot is 
about 977 Fahr. 

3. The spectrum of an incandescent solid is continuous ; it contains 
neither bright nor dark fixed lines. 

4. From common temperatures nearly up to 977 Fahr., the rays 
emitted by a solid are invisible. At that temperature they are red, 
and, the heat of the incandescing body being made continuously to 
increase, other rays are added, increasing in refrangibility as the tem 
perature rises. 

5. While the addition of rays so much the more refrangible as the 
temperature is higher is taking place, there is an increase in the in 
tensity of those already existing. Thirteen years afterward Kirch - 
hoff published his celebrated memoir on the relations between the 
coefficients of emission and absorption of bodies for light and heat, in 
which he established mathematically the same facts, and announced 
them as new. 

6. Dr. Draper claims, and we believe with justice, to have been the 
first to apply the daguerreotype process to taking portraits. 

7. Dr. Draper applied ruled glasses and specula to produce spectra 
for the study of the chemical action of light. The employment of 
ruled metallic specula for this purpose enabled him to avoid the 
absorbent action of glass and other transparent media, as well as to 
establish the points of maximum and minimum intensity with reference 
to portions of the spectrum defined by their wave-lengths. He ob 
tained also the advantage of employing a normal spectrum in place of 
one which is abnormally condensed at one end and expanded at the 

8. We owe to him valuable and original researches on the nature 
of the rays absorbed in the growth of plants in sunlight. These 
researches prove that the maximum action is produced by the yel 
low rays, and they have been fully confirmed by more recent investi 

9. We owe to him, further, an elaborate discussion of the chemical 


action of light, supported in a great measure by his own experiments, 
and proving conclusively, and, as we believe, for the first time, that 
rays of all wave-lengths are capable of producing chemical changes, 
and that too little account has hitherto been taken of the nature of the 
substance in which the decomposition is produced. 

10. Finally, Dr. Draper has recently published researches on the 
distribution of heat in the spectrum, which are of the highest interest, 
and which have largely contributed to the advancement of our knowl 
edge of the subject of- radiant energy. 

And now, in the absence of Dr. Draper, unable at this inclement 
season to execute a fatiguing journey, it gives me pleasure to recog 
nize you, Mr. Quincy, as his worthy and competent representative. 

I pray you, in receiving these two medals on his behalf, in accord 
ance with the terms of. the original trust, to assure him, on the part 
of the Academy, of the high satisfaction taken by all its Fellows in 
doing honor to those who, like him, take a prominent rank in the ad 
vance of science throughout the world. * 

Mr. Quincy, on receiving the medals, said : 

MB. PRESIDENT : In the name and on the behalf of Dr. Draper I 
have the honor to receive the Rumford medals in gold and silver, 
which the Academy has been pleased to award to him, and I will 
have them safely conveyed to him to-morrow, together with the assur 
ances of the satisfaction of the Academy in this action which you wish 
me to communicate to him. In common with yourself, sir, and all the 
Fellows present, I regret that that eminent person is unable to attend 
this meeting and receive the medals himself. And, personally, I re 
gret the absence of Dr. Wolcott Gibbs, who had promised to perform 
this grateful service for his friend, and who would have been able to 
make a more suitable reply to the able discourse with which you have 
accompanied the presentation of the medals, and to have done more 
justice to the claims of Dr. Draper to this distinction than I can pre 
tend to do. Dr. Gibbs having also been unavoidably prevented from 
being present this evening, I have now the honor to read a communi 
cation from Dr. Draper to the Academy, in acknowledgment of this 
testimony to his services to science. 

Mr. Quincy then read the following letter : 

preciation of my researches on radiations, expressed to-day by the award of 
the Rumford medals, the highest testimonial of approbation that American sci 
ence has to bestow on those who have devoted themselves to the enlargement 
of knowledge, is to me a most acceptable return for the attention I have given 
to that subject through a period of more than forty years, and I deeply regret 
that through ill-health I am unable to receive it in person. 

Sir David Brewster, to whom science is under so many obligations for the 
discoveries he made, once said to me that the solar-spectrum is a world in itself, 
and that the study of it will never be completed. His remark is perfectly just. 

But the spectrum is only a single manifestation of that infinite ether which 


makes known to us the presence of the universe, and in which whatever exists 
if I may be permitted to say so lives and moves and has its being. 

What object, then, can be offered to us more worthy of contemplation than 
the attributes of this intermedium between ourselves and the outer world? 

Its existence, the modes of motion through it, its transverse vibrations, their 
creation of the ideas of light and colors in the mind, the interferences of its 
waves, polarization, the conception of radiations and their physical and chemi 
cal effects these have occupied the thoughts of men of the highest order. The 
observational powers of science have been greatly extended through the conse 
quent invention of those grand instruments, the telescope, the microscope, the 
spectrometer. Through these we have obtained more majestic views of the 
nature of the universe. Through these we are able to contemplate the structure 
and genesis of other systems of worlds, and are gathering information as to the 
chemical constitution and history of the stars. 

In this noble advancement of science you, through some of your members, 
have taken no inconspicuous part. It adds impressively to the honor you have 
this day conferred on me, that your action is the deliberate determination of 
competent, severe, impartial judges. I cannot adequately express my feelings 
of gratitude in such a presence, publicly pronouncing its approval on what I 
have done. 

I am, gentlemen, very truly yours, JOHN W. DRAPER. 



IPEOPOSE to give some account of a new theory of storms put 
forth by Prof. Blasius, of Philadelphia, formerly Professor of Nat 
ural Sciences in the Lyceum of Hanover, Germany. His attention 
was first drawn to the subject of storms in the year 1851. Having 
witnessed the destructive effects of a tornado at West Cambridge, 
Massachusetts, he made a careful survey of its entire track. The 
facts discovered about the middle of its course, where the most dam 
age had been caused, favored the rotary theory of Eedfield ; those 
near the end of its path seemed to confirm the inblowing theory of 
Espy ; but those at the beginning could not be explained by either 
theory. Discouraged and perplexed by these conflicting results, he 
resolved to apply to storms the analogy drawn from the life of an 
animal in its origin or embryo, its development to maturity, and its 
end. From this he argued that storms must have a beginning, a dura 
tion, and an end, with phases peculiar to each stage of their develop 
ment and progress, like an animal ; and, guided by this analogy, he 
made a careful reexamination and application of all the facts he had 

1 "Storms: Their Nature, Classification, and Laws, with the Means of predicting 
them by their Embodiments the Clouds." By William Blasius. Philadelphia : Porter & 


discovered, and came to the following conclusion respecting the origin 
and distinct character of tornadoes and storms : 

ORIGIN or STORMS AND TORNADOES. " I had found the existence of two 
opposing currents of air of different temperature, coming respectively from north 
west and southwest, acting suddenly against each other after a sultry calm of some 
duration; and shortly, a third gyratory force making its appearance between 
them, traveling in their diagonal, growing to such magnitude as to obliterate all 
trace of the straight-line forces of the opposing currents, and finally abruptly dis 
appearing. The two currents must have been, during the period of sultry calm, 
in a state of equilibrium, since the clouds were observed to remain for some 
time almost stationary. South of the tornado s track the southwest wind pre 
vailed until the beginning of the tornado, and, from information obtained for me 
by ex-President Hill, it appeared that a storm had traveled from northwest to 
southeast over the States of New Hampshire and Vermont, and that during its 
progress a southwest wind was replaced by a northwest wind. I was thus led 
to conclude that the storm announced that afternoon by the black bank of cloud 
consisted in the conflict of two aerial currents of different temperature that the 
colder northern current displaced the warmer southern current in the direction 
from northwest to southeast, gradually decreasing in velocity until, north of 
Waltham, West Cambridge, and Medford, it came to a perfect standstill, produc 
ing the sultry calm felt before the tornado. 

" Here the two currents, being in equilibrio, exerted a great compressive force 
against each other. The equilibrium was disturbed by the uneven configuration 
of the earth around Prospect Hill. This disturbance produced the tornado, 
which traveled, not in the direction of the storm toward the southeast, but in 
the diagonal of the two opposing currents over their region of calm at their line or 
meeting, and in and underneath the black bank of clouds stretched out from west 
to east which must have marked this line of meeting. 

" I came thus to two distinct phenomena the tornado, and the storm in the 
ordinary sense of the word both different in their origin, nature, direction, prog 
ress, and appearance, and governed by entirely different laws." 

Continuing his observations for several years, he came to the con 

. That storms in the temperate zone at least, and over the United States, are 
the effect of the conflict of opposing aerial currents of different temperatures, and 
not the cause of these currents and temperatures, as seems to be assumed by some 

Continuing and extending his observations and studies in the gen 
eral field of meteorology, our author compares his own method of 
procedure with that usually pursued by others, as follows : 

" Having found, during my investigations, that tornadoes and other storms 
are different phenomena, and that they follow different laws, I endeavored to 
investigate storms in general by the same method I had used with the tornado. 

" My researches were not made by filling out the ordinary meteorological 
formulae from observations made three pr four times daily, as is the custom. I 
had learned that no storm will be accommodating enough to develop itself just 
at the specified periods for observing ; I do not believe that this method will 
ever lead to any definite results. 


"A storm must be treated as an individual which is subject to development. 
This is difficult, on account of the nature of the subject, but it is possible and 
essential. We must take the storm at its earliest appearance, and not lose sight 
of it for one moment until we know it throughout its whole extent, in all its 
parts, from beginning to end." 

This view of Prof. Blasius coincides with that of Sir William Her- 
echel, who says : 

"In endeavoring to interpret the weather, we are in the position of a man 
who hears at intervals a few fragments of a long history related in a prosy, un 
methodical manner. A host of circumstances omitted or forgotten, and the 
want of connection between the parts, prevent the hearer from obtaining pos 
session of the entire story." 

DEFINITION OF A STORM. But leaving methods and passing to 
results, our author defines a storm in general to be " the movement of 
the air caused by its tendency to reestablish an equilibrium which has 
been disturbed; and we may call all such movements storms, whether 
they are gentle breezes or furious hurricanes, whether accompanied by 
more or less condensation of moisture or clouds, or even by none at 
all," as in deserts. t 

CLASSIFICATION OF STORMS. As the result of his investigations in 
aerial movements in the northern hemisphere, Prof. Blasius presents 
the following classification of all storms : 

1. LOCAL OB VERTICAL STORMS. Stationary. Centripetal. Produced by a 
tendency of the atmosphere to reestablish in a vertical direction an equilibrium 
that has been disturbed. Characteristic cloud cumulus. 

2. PROGRESSIVE OR LATERAL STORMS. Traveling. Produced by a tendency 
of the atmosphere to reestablish in a lateral direction an equilibrium that has 
been disturbed. They are of two kinds : 

(a.) EQUATORIAL OR NORTHEAST STORMS. Winter storms. Produced by a 
warm current displacing a cool one to supply a deficiency toward the poles. 
Temperature changing from cool to warm. Direction to the northeastern quad 
rant. Characteristic cloud stratus. 

duced by a cool current displacing a warm one to supply a deficiency toward 
the equator. Temperature changing from warm to cool. Direction to the 
southern semicircle. Characteristic cloud cumulo-stratus. 

3. LOCO-PROGRESSIVE OR DIAGONAL STORMS. Traveling locally. Rotary 
tornadoes, hailstorms, sandstorms, water-spouts, etc. Produced by a tendency 
of the atmosphere to reestablish the equilibrium of a polar storm which has 
been disturbed in the plane of meeting by a peculiar configuration of the 
ground. Direction, the diagonal of the forces of the two opposing currents 
transversely through the polar storm. Characteristic cloud conns. 

In order that the significance of the above classification may be 
clearly understood, it will be well to notice in brief outline the general 
movements of the atmosphere surrounding the globe, more especially 
those in the northern hemisphere. 


ATMOSPHERIC CURRENTS. All storms owe their origin to the heat 
of the sun, which produces differences of temperature in different por 
tions of the earth, and thereby causes all the movements and currents 
which take place in the atmosphere around the globe. As the air at 
the equator is more highly heated by the sun than that of any other 
region, it expands, becomes lighter and rises, causing a partial vacuum 
or deficiency there at the surface of the earth. The air north and 
south of it at once moves forward from opposite directions to supply 
this deficiency at the equator, and this in turn becomes heated and 
ascends. Other air again moves forward from north and south to 
replace it, and thus an upward current at the equator, and a north 
and south polar current at the surface toward the equator, are estab 
lished. These north and south polar currents cause a deficiency of 
air at the poles, and the heated air which has risen at the equator into 
the upper region of the atmosphere divides and moves forward tow 
ard the opposite poles to supply the deficiency caused there. Thus, 
upper currents in opposite directions from the equator to the poles 
are also established in order to restore the equilibrium disturbed by 
the surface polar currents flowing toward the equator. 

But by the time the air of the upper currents has reached the re 
gion of the tropics, it has become cooler and heavier, and descends to 
the surface of the earth. Here it divides into two currents one 
flowing back to the equator, forming the trade-winds ; and the other, 
becoming warmer again at the surface, flows toward the poles, meet 
ing the polar current somewhere north of the tropic in the northern 
hemisphere, and south of it in the southern. This meeting of the 
equatorial or tropical and polar currents in the temperate zone, and the 
various phenomena attending and resulting from it, are the most sig 
nificant and important facts which constitute the basis of Pr.of. Bla- 
sius s theory of storms, in distinction from the centripetal theory of 
Espy, and the rotary theory of Colonel Clapper, as developed by Pid- 
dington, Thorn, Dove, and others, and better known in this country 
as the cyclone theory of Redfield. 

The following diagram (Fig. 1) will serve to indicate the move 
ments and courses of the general atmospheric currents of the earth, 
as above described, the arrows showing the directions in which they 

The two currents above referred to the polar and the equato 
rial or tropical are of different temperatures, and move horizontally 
in opposite directions toward each other. When they meet they over 
lap each other somewhat like two wedges with their sharp ends for 
ward. The warmer current, being lighter, glides obliquely over the 
cooler current, and moves northward ; and the cooler current, being 
heavier, moves beneath it on the surface of the earth southward, just 
as two currents, warm and cold, flow over each other in opposite di 
rections through an open window or door of a heated room. 



The plane of meeting between these two currents is more or less 
inclined northward in the northern hemisphere, for the reason just 
stated ; and the lower end of the plane, or the space of air between 
these two currents where they meet on the surface of the earth, 1 con 
stitutes the centre line or area proper of the storm, and the region of 
lowest barometer. The horizontal plane beneath this inclined plane a 


is the geographical extent of the region affected by the storm and the 
region of low barometer. The place where the currents meet is con 
stantly changing with the changing seasons, following the sun north 
ward in summer and southward in winter. These changes of locality 
do not, however, take place in one continuous movement of the at 
mosphere ; but with successive oscillations, like the waves of a rising 
tide, each succeeding wave advancing farther and receding less than 
the one before it, until its most northern or southern limit is reached 
as represented by the numbers 1 and 2 in the diagram when the 
oscillations in the opposite direction again begin. Whenever the 
lower end of the plane of meeting between the two opposing currents 
at B oscillates or passes over any place on the surface of the earth, it 
will cause storm or change of weather there a change of wind, of 
temperature, and of atmospheric pressure. 

The inclination of the plane of meeting, or the slope of the tropi- 

1 As shown at B iii the diagram. 

2 From B to D. 


cal current over the polar, varies with the seasons and local circum 
stances. In winter the slope between the two currents is very gradual, 
as there is less difference of temperature, and less power of resistance 
between them. The warm current passes over the cold at a gentle in 
clination (as represented by the line If in Fig. 1) ; and thus the 
horizontal or geographical extent of the storm beneath it from J5 to 
D which is the region of low barometer, is much enlarged, and 
sometimes its oscillations extend or move over several hundred miles. 

In summer, however, the difference of temperature between the 
two currents, and their power of resistance, are greater, and when 
they meet they bank up against each other with more momentum and 
force, and the plane of meeting or conflict is often very steep and 
sometimes almost vertical (as indicated by H in Fig. 2). Hence, 
the geographical extent of a storm in summer is much less than in 
winter, and the region of low barometer which moves with it is cor 
respondingly small. 

rent of air, saturated with moisture, meets or mingles with a cold 
current, the invisible moisture of the warm air is condensed into visi 
ble vapor or clouds. As storms are produced by the movements and 
conflicts of warm and cold currents of air, the formation of clouds 
always indicates to the observer the region in the atmosphere where 
such movements are taking place, which would otherwise be invisible. 
Clouds, therefore, are the invariable precursors of storms, and the 
kind of clouds formed will indicate the kind of storm or atmospheric 
movements which produce them. 

This general fact, however, does not apply to deserts, where the 
moisture of the warm air is condensed and precipitated before it 
meets the cooler air, and hence rain-clouds are seldom or never formed 
by the sand-storms of deserts. 

CLASSIFICATION OF CLOUDS. Whenever, on account of some topo 
graphic circumstances, the sun heats any locality on the surface of 
the earth more than the surrounding region, a gentle current or col 
umn of heated air rises, and its invisible moisture is condensed into 
small masses of clouds called cumuli, which spread and produce the 
mottled appearance commonly known as " mackerel sky," as indi 
cated at 1 in the accompanying illustration (Fig. 2). 

But when, as is frequently the case in summer, a valley or plain, or 
island, or any other place, is much more highly heated by the sun than 
the surrounding region, the heated air over such locality rises more 
rapidly and with more ascensional momentum ; and, as it reaches the 
higher and cooler regions of the atmosphere, its moisture is condensed 
into large rounded volumes, or mountain-like masses of cumulus clouds, 
as indicated at 2 in the illustration. Such cumulus clouds always pre 
cede and characterize a local summer storm or shower. 

When the warm horizontal current from the south, as in winter, 



meets with tlie cold current from the north, it slopes upward over the 
cooler current, and forms stripes or bands of stratus clouds along the 
horizon, as shown in Fig. 3. 


These stratus clouds indicate to the observer the fact that a warm 
current is coming northward. 

When in summer a cool current is moving southward, it encoun 
ters the warm equatorial or tropical current, which again glides up 
ward and over it, and forms horizontal bands of stratus clouds along 
the upper line of contact, as in winter storms ; but, in addition, the 
denser cold air from the north, moving with more momentum, will 
lift up the warm and saturated air from the tropics, and its moisture 


will be condensed into masses of cumulus clouds banked up against 
the top of the cold current, and arranged over the horizontal stratus 
clouds. Thus is produced the combination of cumulo-stratus cloud, 
as represented in Fig. 4, and which is characteristic of progressive 
summer storms. 


To the tornado-cloud produced by a whirl of air, and resembling 
an inverted cone, Prof. Blasius gives the name of conus, which is 
both distinctive and appropriate. 

These four typical classes of clouds viz., cumulus, stratus, cu 
mulo-stratus, and conus indicate and characterize the four different 
classes of storms. 

PREDICTION OF STORMS. With the foregoing facts and classifica 
tions in view, Prof. Blasius s method of predicting the approach of 
storms, " by their embodiments the clouds," can be verified by any 
careful observer of ordinary intelligence. 

WINTER STORMS. When in winter, while the wind is blowing 
from the north, thin, hazy bands or stripes of stratus clouds appear 
low in the southern horizon, it indicates that the warm current from 
the south is flowing northward, sloping over the polar current, and 
that the condensation of its vapor into clouds, by successive undula 
tions, has commenced in the upper and colder regions of contact. 
More and more of these stratus clouds gradually appear, until they 
cover the entire southern sky and reach the zenith. This may require 

3 02 


from twelve to twenty-four hours, or longer. Sometimes these clouds, 
before reaching the zenith, will recede and disappear beneath the 
southern horizon. This indicates a backward oscillation of the south 
ern current, caused by the greater resistance of the polar current. 
But in such case the stratus clouds will reappear next day, or sooner, 
and uniting and, becoming denser, they will advance over the zenith, 
and cover the whole heavens, discharging rain, snow, or sleet, accord- 
ing to the thermal conditions present. 


Thus, by observing the clouds, a northeast or winter storm may 
always be predicted from one to three days beforehand, while the 
barometer shows no change until the stratus clouds from the south 
have reached and passed over the zenith, when it begins to fall ; but 
the thermometer indicates no change. 

At this stage of the storm the wind from the north rises and blows 
more violently, while the clouds move northward against the wind, 
and the rain or snow, driven by the prevailing wind, comes down 
obliquely from the north. After some time the direction of the wind 
changes, and there is a calm. The air is warmer, the thermometer 
rises suddenly, the barometer has reached its lowest point, and the 
rain or snow falls vertically. This calm continues for a longer or 
shorter time, and the wind gradually changes until it comes from 
nearly or quite the opposite quarter from which it came at the begin 
ning of the storm, and blows more powerfully than before. The 


barometer now rises again, but is not as high as before the storm, 
because it is in the tropical current which has reached the locality. 
If, now, the wind from the south, which has prevailed and driven 
back the northern current, continues in the same direction until the 
entire atmospheric area of the storm passes over the zenith north 
ward, and the sky clears up from the south or southwest, as is gen 
erally the case in early autumn or late spring, then the next storm or 
change of weather will come from the north. But if the wind changes 
its direction again before the storm is over, as is mostly the case in 
mid-winter, and blows from the north, as it did at the beginning, 
until the entire atmospheric area of the storm is carried backward 
over the zenith, and the sky clears from the north, then the next 
storm or change of weather will come from the south, as described 
above. In this case the polar current has prevailed, the air is colder, 
the thermometer falls, the barometer rises higher than in the other 
case, and the atmospheric conditions existing before the storm are 
gradually reestablished. 

SUMMER STORMS. Before a progressive summer storm, the air is 
usually warm and sultry, the sky cloudless but somewhat dim, and a 
light southerly breeze is blowing. Suddenly the sound of distant rum 
bling thunder is heard, and large masses of dark cumulus clouds rise 
and arrange themselves on a long bank of stratus clouds in the north 
ern or northwestern horizon. This is the cumulo-stratus combination 
of clouds which is the herald of a polar or progressive summer storm. 
Soon the south wind increases in violence, and drives clouds of dust 
before it. The thunder rolls, and lightning flashes more frequently. 
The clouds bank up higher and higher, and advance more slowly, until 
at last they become stationary. These are the ordinary indications of a 
violent progressive summer storm, which sometimes ends in a tornado. 

Like a winter storm, it is produced by the meeting and conflict of 
the polar and tropical currents under greater differences of temperature 
and other conditions, and is therefore attended with more violent and 
complex phenomena than those of a winter storm. The changes of 
wind, and of the barometer and thermometer, during its development 
at any locality, are similar to those of a winter storm in its return 
oscillation southward ; that is, these changes occur in a reverse order 
to those of a winter storm during the regular progress of the tropical 
current northward, in the same order as during its oscillation south 

In most cases of this kind of summer storms, after the clouds have 
remained stationary for some time, discharged their rain and restored 
the disturbed equilibrium of the atmosphere, the polar current which 
produced it by moving southward oscillates back to the north again, 
and the storm at this locality is over although similar phenomena 
and changes will be occasioned by it later at other localities over 
which it sweeps in its oscillation northward. 


The cumulo-stratus cloud, which is the precursor of this kind of 
storm, can usually be observed only from one to eight hours, and, in 
some cases of the most violent kind, only about twelve hours before it 
will burst upon a place. Although these storms are the most danger 
ous and destructive not unfrequently ending in tornadoes and hurri 
canes the barometer is of no practical service in predicting it. This 
is explained by the fact that in such storms the plane of meeting of 
the two currents moves southward with its lower extremity, or region 
of lowest barometer, in front, while the plane itself is more or less 
inclined northward. Hence the barometer shows no change until 
this region of lowest barometer moves over it, when it suddenly falls ; 
but it is then already in the most dangerous part of the storm, and its 
warning, therefore, comes too late ; while the clouds, if properly ob 
served, always give warning in time to provide against the dangers 
of such a storm. 

TORNADOES. This class of storms includes hailstorms, water 
spouts, hurricanes, and all storms in which rotary and lateral motions 
are more or less combined. They are the most violent and destruc 
tive of all storms, as well as the most complicated and difficult to 
understand and explain. They are the offspring of progressive polar 
or summer storms, and in the temperate zone occur only during 

When in the development of a summer storm, as above described, 
the two conflicting currents attain a state of equal power or resistance, 
and thus balance each other, which is indicated when the dense cumu 
lus clouds over the plane of conflict become stationary, then the storm 
is at its crisis. The air within the region of conflict is compressed and 
very sultry, and this condition is always felt before a tornado by per 
sons within its area. If, now, during this critical stage of the storm, 
no topographic or other disturbance of its tension take place in its 
plane of meeting, a return oscillation of the polar current northward 
will set in, and the storm will gradually clear away. But if, in this 
crisis of the storm and during this high state of compression and re 
sistance, either current becomes stronger, and forces back the other 
over some hill or valley, or if some other obstruction or configuration 
of the surface of the earth breaks the tension or disturbs the resistance 
between the two currents at any point, so that the polar current will 
sink as in a valley, then the tropical current will suddenly rush into 
this depression and generate a succession of violent whirling and zig 
zag motions along the diagonal of the two currents within the plane 
of conflict, as the waters of a dam would rush through a sudden break 
or depression in an embankment. This conclusion respecting the 
origin of tornadoes Prof. Blasius reached after his careful study of 
the West Cambridge tornado of 1851, and it was subsequently con 
firmed by the facts and phenomena connected with the tornado of 
Iowa and Illinois, in May, 1873, as obtained from the report of the 


United States Signal Service for that year, as well as by those of other 

The characteristic cloud of a tornado is the conus, which appears 
first above as a dense, dark disk, and is formed by the whirl of the 
tropical current rushing into the depression of the polar current which 
starts the tornado, and it is enlarged and lengthened by alternate 
and rapid condensations above and below, as the tropical air whirls 
and zigzags along the diagonal of conflict, until sometimes the conus 
above and below unite as in the case of water-spouts at sea and a 
rotating column of mingled air, dense cloud, dust, or water as the 
case may be is thus formed, and sweeps along the plane of meeting 
between the opposing currents, and beneath the bank of cumulus 
clouds which mark the area of a tornado s path of destruction. 

The conus cloud, however, as above described, is only formed when 
the tornado has already commenced, and is therefore of no use to indi 
cate its occurrence beforehand. 

But when the dark and dense masses of cumulus clouds in a sum 
mer storm cease moving forward or laterally, but bank up higher and 
higher, and there is great commotion among them, and when there is 
an oppressive sultriness about the air, these phenomena always indi 
cate that the suspended storm is in a crisis or condition to generate a 
tornado, in case some local obstruction or other cause disturb the 
equilibrium of resistance between the two conflicting currents. 

SCIENTIFIC ASPECTS. The condensed result of modern meteor 
ological science is the general fact announced by Prof. Buys-Ballot, 
of Utrecht, that " the wind always blows from the place of highest to 
that of lowest barometer, turning by the rotation of the earth to the 
right on the northern hemisphere, and to the left on the southern 
hemisphere." This is known as " Ballot s Law," and is the chief 
basis of all scientific weather predictions at the present day. 

The first part of this law, given in italics, is found to be universally 
correct. The second part, however, has many exceptions, and is as 
often " honored in the breach as in the observance ; " for, in polar 
storms, the winds from the northern semicircle do not conform to it. 

Among other definite results attained by barometric observations 
and deduced from Ballot s law, is the fact that the rain-area of a 
storm extends over that of lowest barometer and also surrounds it. 
The isobars, or elliptic lines, of equal barometer, surround the area of 
lowest barometer, and the most distant isobar marks the limit of the 
region of low barometer, and may be regarded as the boundary be 
tween the regions of high and low barometer. The gradients indicate 
the differences of pressure between the isobars on a line extending at 
right angles from that of highest to that of lowest barometer. 

The shape of the area of lowest barometer in a progressive storm 
is that of an irregularly elongated ellipse, moving sideways, or in the 
direction of its shortest diameter; and the gradients are found to be 

VOL. IX. 20 


much more steep on the southward than on the northward side of this 
area ; from which it follows that the rain-area is much less on the 
southward than on the northward side of a progressive storm. 

All the atmospheric changes and phenomena above stated result 
from the same general cause, but under different conditions and cir 
cumstances. This cause is the meeting of the polar and tropical cur 
rents in their movements northward and southward, to restore a dis 
turbed equilibrium in the atmosphere toward the equator or the poles. 

Applying this theory in brief explanation of the facts stated in 
connection with Ballot s law, we find the area of lowest barometer at 
the place where the two currents meet on the surface of the earth. It 
is produced by the obliquely upward movement of the tropical cur 
rent over the polar current, and by its rising more or less vertically 
in the vicinity of contact, after its horizontal progress northward has 
been checked by encountering the polar current. This oblique and 
upward movement of the tropical current diminishes the atmospheric 
pressure there, as shown by the barometer, and produces that depress 
ing calm which is always felt by persons in any locality where this 
meeting of currents takes place, or over which its area moves or oscil 
lates during the continuance of a storm. The elongated, elliptical 
shape of this area is accounted for by the fact that it is the narrow 
space between the two currents where they meet, and extends east 
ward and westward between them. It is rounded at the ends or mar 
gins of the currents, where the wind, in accordance with Ballot s law, 
blows inward toward the centre line of contact, which is also the cen 
tre line of lowest barometer. And, as the two currents force each 
other backward and forward during a storm, they necessarily carry 
along the elliptical space between them, and thus its movements in the 
direction of its shorter axis are accounted for. 

The rain-area, or that of low barometer, which surrounds the 
elliptical region of lowest barometer where the currents meet on the 
surface, as just explained, extends horizontally beneath the plane of 
meeting, which is inclined northward. It is produced chiefly by the 
oblique and upward movement of the tropical current over the polar. 

The gradients, or different degrees of pressure within the rain- 
area, are caused by the same upward movement of the tropical cur- 
rent over the polar, in connection with .the constantly-varying heights 
or depths of both polar .and tropical air, which are vertically above 
the space beneath the inclined plane from the region of lowest to that 
of highest barometer northward; and the steeper or more abrupt 
gradients southward are explained by the fact that when the tropical 
current meets the polar current it is suddenly checked, and while a 
portion of it moves obliquely over the polar current, as stated, another 
portion of it rises, more or less vertically, for some distance around 
the vicinity of contact, and the pressure is thus more suddenly dimin 
ished on the southward side of this area of low barometer than on 


the northward, where it slopes more gradually beneath the inclined 
plane of meeting, as above explained. 

For obvious reasons, the region of high barometer is within the 
polar current before it meets the tropical, and also within the tropical 
current before it is disturbed, or its horizontal movement checked by 
meeting the polar current ; but the barometer is highest in the polar 
current, because it is colder and denser. 

In addition to the foregoing facts which barometric observations 
have established, this theory of opposing currents explains a great 
many other aerial problems and phenomena which have not heretofore 
been adequately accounted for. Among these are the real causes of 
different kinds of storms and how they originate ; why they move for 
ward and backward, carrying the lines and areas of high and low 
barometer, of isobars and gradients, with them, and why they cease ; 
why the barometer indicates the approach of some storms in advance, 
but is useless in others ; why it falls in some storms but rises in others ; 
why a progressive storm travels against the prevailing wind, and why 
the wind changes during its progress ; why there is a region of calm, 
and why the wind is stronger around this region of calm. It explains 
how snow-storms change to rain, or sleet and rain, and why it falls 
obliquely toward the direction from which the storm is coming; also 
why in some storms the rain falls in advance of the area of low barome 
ter and in the rear of it in others. It accounts for the origin of torna 
does, water-spouts, hail-storms, and all other whirling storms, and 
explains why these always move in an eastward direction on our con 
tinent. It explains why the rain-areas of winter storms are more ex 
tended than those of summer, why their approach is slower and their 
continuance longer, and why they produce sudden changes of tempera 
ture in their progress over any place. It greatly simplifies and cor 
rects previous explanations respecting the formation of different kinds 
of clouds, and accounts for the development of electricity both in 
summer and in winter storms. 



IX primitive stages of society, the clannish life of rude tribes may 
well have been more favorable to frank and truthful relations be 
tween man and man than our wider and looser social intercourse can 
be. Yet one can see, from the habits of modern savages, that already 
in early savage times society was setting itself to take measures 
against men who broke faith to save themselves from harm or to 
gain some coveted good. At the stage of civilization where social 


order was becoming regular and settled, the wise men turned their 
minds to devise guarantees stronger than mere yes and no. Thus the 
ordeal and the oath were introduced, that wrong-doing should not be 
concealed or denied, that unrighteous claims should not be backed 
by false witness, and that covenants made should not be broken. 

The principles on which these ordeals and oaths were invented 
and developed may to this day be plainly made out. It is evident 
that the matter was referred to the two intellectual orders of early 
times, the magicians and the priests. Each advised after the manner 
of his own profession. The magician said, " With my symbols and 
charms I will try the accused, and bind the witness and the promiser." 
The priest said, " I will call upon my spirits, and they shall find out the 
hidden thing, and punish the lie and the broken vow." Now, magic 
and religion are separate in their nature and origin. Magic is based 
on a delusive tendency arising out of the association of ideas, namely, 
the tendency to believe that things which are ideally connected in 
our minds must therefore be really connected in the outer world. 
Religion is based on the doctrine of spiritual beings, souls, demons, 
or deities, who take cognizance of men and interpose in their affairs. 
It is needful to keep this absolute distinction clear in our minds, for 
on it depends our finding our mental way through a set of complicated 
proceedings, in which magical and religious elements have become 
mixed in the most intricate manner. Well they might, considering 
how commonly the professions of sorcerer and priest have overlapped 
so as even to be combined in one and the same person. But it seems, 
from a general survey of the facts of ordeals and oaths, that on the 
whole the magical element in them is earliest and underlying, while 
the religious element is apt to come in later in history, often only 
taking up and consecrating some old magical process. 

In the series of instances to be brought into view, this blending 
of the religious with the magical element will be repeatedly observ 
able. It will be seen also that the ordeal and the oath are not only 
allied in their fundamental principles, but that they continually run 
into one another in their use. Oaths, we shall see, may be made to 
act as ordeals, and ordeals are brought in as tests of oaths. While 
recognizing this close connection, it will be convenient to divide the 
two and take them in order according to their practical application, 
ordeals being proceedings for the discovery of wrong-doers, while 
oaths are of the nature of declarations of undertakings. 

The association of ideas which serves as a magical basis for an 
ordeal is quite childish in its simplicity. Suppose it has to be decided 
which of two men has acted wrongfully, and appeal is had to the 
ordeal. There being no evidence on the real issue, a fanciful issue is 
taken instead, which can be settled, and the association of ideas does 
not rest. Thus in Borneo, when two Dyaks have to decide which is 
in the right, they have two equal lumps of salt given them to drop 



together into water, and the one whose lump is gone first is in the 
wrong. Or they put two live shell-fish on a plate, one for each dis. 
putant, and squeeze lime-juice over them, the verdict being given 
according to which man s champion-mollusk moves first. This reason 
ing is such as any child can enter into. Among the Sandwich- 
Islanders, again, when a thief had to be detected, the priest would 
consecrate a dish of water, and the suspected persons, one by one, 
held their hands over it, till the approach of the guilty was known by 
the water trembling. Here the connection of ideas is plain. But we 
may see it somewhat more fully thought out in Europe, where the old 
notion remains on record that the executioner s sword will tremble 
when a thief draws near, and even utter a dull clang at the approach 
of a murderer. 

Starting with the magical ordeal, we have next to notice how the 
religious element is imported into it. Take the ordeal of the balance, 
well known to Hindoo law. A rude pair of scales is set up with its 
wooden scale-beam supported on posts ; the accused is put in one 
scale, and stones and sand in the other to counterpoise him ; then he 
is taken out, to be put in again after the balance has been called upon 
to show his guilt by letting him go down, or his innocence by raising 
him up. This is pure magic, the ideal weight of guilt being by mere 
absurd association of ideas transferred to material weight in a pair 
of scales. In this process no religious act is essential, but in practice 
it is introduced by prayers and sacrifices, and a sacred formula 
appealing to the great gods who know the walk of men, so that it is 
considered to be by their divine aid that the accused rises or falls at 
once in material fact and moral metaphor. If he either goes fairly up 
or down the case is clear. But a difficulty arises if the accused hap 
pens to weigh the same as he did five minutes before, so nearly at 
least as can be detected by a pair of heavy wooden scales which 
would hardly turn within an ounce or two. This embarrassing pos 
sibility has in fact perplexed the Hindoo lawyers not a little. One 
learned pundit says, " He is guilty, unless he goes right up ! " A 
second suggests, " Weigh him again ! " A third distinguishes with 
subtlety, "If he weighs the same he is guilty, but not so guilty as if 
he had gone rio-ht down ! " The one only interpretation that never 
occurs to any of them is, that sin may be an imponderable. We may 
smile at the Hindoo way of striking a moral balance, but it should be 
remembered that a similar practice, probably a survival from the same 
original Aryan rite, was kept up in England within the last century. 
In 1759, near Aylesbury, a woman who could not get her spinning- 
wheel to go round, and naturally concluded that it had been be 
witched, charged one Susannah Haynokes with being the witch. At 
this Susannah s husband was indignant, and demanded that his wife 
should be allowed to clear herself by the customary ordeal of weigh 
ing. So they took her to the parish church, stripped her to her under 


garments, and weighed her against the church Bible ; she outweighed 
it, and went home in triumph. Here the metaphor of weighing is 
worked in the opposite way to that in India, but it is quite as intelli 
gible, and not a whit the worse for practical purposes. For yet an 
other case, how an old magical process may be afterward transformed 
by bringing in the religious sanction, we may look at the ancient 
classic sieve and shears, the sieve being suspended by sticking the 
points of the open shears into the rim, and the handles of the shears 
balanced on the forefingers of the holders. To discover a thief, or a 
lover, all that was required was to call over all suspected names, till 
the instrument turned at the right one. In the course of history, this 
childish divining-ordeal came to be Christianized into the key and 
Bible ; the key, of course, to open the secret, the Bible to supply the 
test of truth. For a thief-ordeal, the proper mode is to tie in the key 
at the verse of the 50th Psalm, " When thou sawest a thief, then thou 
consentedst with him ; " and then, when the names are called over, at 
the name of the guilty one the instrument makes its sign by swerving 
or turning in the holders hands. This is interesting, as being almost 
the only ordeal which survives in common use in England ; it may be 
met with in many an out-of-the-way farmhouse. It is some years 
since English rustics have dared to " swim " a witch, that is, to put in 
practice the ancient water-ordeal, which our folk-lore remembers in 
its most archaic Aryan form. Its essential principle is as plainly 
magical as any : the water, being set to make the trial, shows its 
decision by rejecting the guilty, who accordingly comes up to the 
surface. Our ancestors, who did not seize the distinction between 
weight and specific gravity, used to wonder at the supernatural power 
with which the water would heave up a wicked fellow, even if he 
weighed sixteen stone. 

Medieval ordeals, by water or fire, by touch of the corpse, or by 
wager of battle, have fallen to mere curiosities of literature, and it is 
needless to dwell here on their well-known picturesque details, or to 
repeat the liturgies of prayer or malediction said or sung by the con 
secrating priests. It is not by such accompanying formulas, but by 
the intention of the act itself, that we must estimate the real position 
of the religious element in it. Nowhere is this so strong as in what 
may be called the ordeal by miracle, where the innocent by divine 
help walks over the nine red-hot ploughshares, or carries the red-hot 
iron bar in his hand, or drinks a dose of deadly poison, and is none the 
worse for it ; or, in the opposite way, where the draught of harmless 
water, cursed or consecrated by the priests, will bring, within a few 
days, dire disease on him or her who, being guilty, has dared to drink 
of it. 

Looking at the subject from the statesman s point of view, the 
survey of the ordeals of all nations and ages enables us to judge with 
some certainty what their practical effect has been for evil or good. 


Their basis being mere delusive imagination, when honestly adminis 
tered, their being right or wrong has been matter of mere accident. 
It would, however, be a mistake to suppose that fair-play ever gen 
erally prevailed in the administration of ordeals. As is well known, 
they have always been engines of political power in the hands of un 
scrupulous priests and chiefs. Often it was unnecessary even to cheat, 
when the arbiter had it at his pleasure to administer either a harmless 
ordeal like drinking cursed water, or a deadly ordeal by a dose of 
aconite or physostigma. When it comes to sheer cheating, nothing 
can be more atrocious than this poison-ordeal. In West Africa, where 
the Calabar bean is used, the administerers can give the accused a dose 
which will make him sick, and so prove his innocence, or they can 
give him enough to prove him guilty, and murder him in the very act 
of proof; when we consider that over a great part of that great conti 
nent this and similar drugs usually determine the destiny of people in 
convenient to the fetich-man and the chief the constituted authorities 
of church and state we see before us one efficient cause of the unpro- 
gressive character of African society. The famed ordeal by red-hot 
iron, also, has been a palpable swindle in the hands of the authorities. 
In India and Arabia the test is to lick the iron, which will burn the 
guilty tongue but not the innocent. Now, no doubt the judges know 
the secret that innocent and guilty alike can lick a white-hot iron 
with impunity, as any blacksmith will do, and as I have done myself, 
the layer of vapor in a spheroidal state preventing any chemical con 
tact with the skin. As for the walking over red-hot ploughshares, or 
carrying a red-hot iron bar three paces in the palm of the hand, its 
fraudulent nature fits with the fact that the ecclesiastics who adminis 
tered it took their precautions against close approach of spectators 
much more carefully than the jugglers do who handle the red-hot bars 
and walk over the ploughshares nowadays ; and, moreover, any list of 
cases will show how inevitably the friend of the Church got off, while 
the man on the wrong side was sure to " lose his cause and burn his 
fingers." Remembering how Queen Emma in the story, with uplifted 
eyes, walked over the ploughshares without knowing it, and then 
asked when the trial was *o begin, and how, after this triumphant 
issue, one-and-twenty manors were settled on the bishopric and church 
of Winchester, it may be inferred with some probability that in such 
cases the glowing ploughshares glowed with nothing more dangerous 
than daubs of red paint. 

Almost the only effect of ordeals which can be looked upon as 
beneficial to society is, that the belief in their efficacy has done some 
thing to deter the credulous from crime, and still more often has led 
the guilty to betray himself by his own terrified imagination. Visitors 
to Rome know the great round marble mask called the Bocca della 
Verita. It is but the sink of an old drain ; but many a frightened 
knave has shrunk from the test of putting his hand into its open 


" mouth of truth " and taking oath of his innocence, lest it should 
really close on him as tradition says it does on the forsworn. The 
ordeal by the mouthful of food is still popular in Southern Asia for its 
practical effectiveness : the thief in the household, his mouth dry with 
nervous terror, fails to masticate or swallow fairly the grains of rice. 
So in old England, the culprit may have failed to swallow the con 
secrated cor-snaed, or trial-slice of bread or cheese ; it stuck in his 
throat, as in Earl Godwin s in the story. To this day the formula, 
" May this mouthful choke me if I am not speaking the truth ! " keeps 
up the memory of the official ordeal. Not less effective is the ordeal 
by curse, still used in Russia to detect a thief. The babushka, or 
local witch, stands with a vessel of water before her in the midst of 
the assembled household, and makes bread-pills to drop in, saying to 
each in order, " Ivan Ivanoff, if you are guilty, as this ball falls to the 
bottom, so your soul will fall into hell." But this is more than any 
common Russian will face, and the rule is that the culprit confessos at 
sight. This is the best that can be said for ordeals. Under their 
most favorable aspect, they are useful delusions or pious frauds. At 
worst they are those wickedest of human deeds, crimes disguised 
behind the mask of justice. Shall we wonder that the world, slowly 
trying its institutions by the experience of ages, has at last come to 
the stage of casting out the judicial ordeal ; or shall we rather won 
der at the constitution of the human mind, which for so many ages 
has set up the creations of delusive fancy to hold sway over a world 
of facts ? 

From the ordeal we pass to the oath. The oath, for purposes of 
classification, may be best defined as an asseveration made under su 
perhuman penalty, such penalty being (as in the ordeal) either magi 
cal or religious in its nature, or both combined. Here, then, we dis 
tinguish the oath from the mere declaration, or promise, or covenant, 
however formal. For example, the covenant by grasping hands is 
not in itself an oath, nor is even that wide-spread ancient ceremony 
of entering into a bond of brotherhood by the two parties mixing 
drops of their blood, or tasting each other s. This latter rite, though 
often called an oath, can under this definition be only reckoned as a 
solemn compact. But when a Galla of Abyssinia sits down over a pit 
covered over with a hide, imprecating that he may fall into a pit if 
he breaks his word, or when in our police-courts we make a Chinaman 
swear by taking an earthen saucer and breaking it on the rail in front 
of the witness-box, signifying, as the interpreter then puts it in 
words, " If you do not tell the truth, your soul will be cracked like 
this saucer," we have here two full oaths, of which the penalty, magi 
cal or religious, is shown in pantomime before us. By-the-way, the 
English judges who authorized this last sensational ceremony must 
have believed that they were calling on a Chinaman to take a judi 
cial oath after the manner of his own country ; but they acted under 


a mistake, for in fact the Chinese use no oaths at all in their law-courts. 
Now, we have to distinguish these real oaths from mere asseverations, 
in which emphatic terms, or descriptive gestures, are introduced mere 
ly for the purpose of showing the strength of resolve in the declarer s 
mind. Where, then, does the difference lie between the two ? It is 
to be found in the incurring of supernatural penalty. There would 
be no difficulty at all in clearing up the question, were it not that 
theologians have set up a distinction between oaths of imprecation 
and oaths of witness. Such subtilties, however, looked at from a 
practical point of view^ are seen to be casuistic cobwebs which a 
touch of the rough broom of common-sense will sweep away. The 
practical question is this : does the swearer mean that by going 
through the ceremony he brings on himself, if he breaks faith, some 
special magic harm, or divine displeasure and punishment ? If so, the 
oath is practically imprecatory ; if not, it is futile, wanting the very 
sanction which gives it legal value. It does not matter whether the 
imprecation is stated or only implied. When a Bedouin picks up a 
straw, and swears by him who made it grow and wither, there is no 
need to accompany this with a homily on the fate of the perjured. 
This reticence is so usual in the world, that as often as not we have to 
go outside the actual formula and ceremony to learn what their full 
intention is. 

Let us now examine some typical forms of oath. The rude natives 
of New Guinea swear by the sun, or by a certain mountain, or by a 
weapon, that the sun may burn them, or the mountain crush them, or 
the weapon wound them, if they lie. The even ruder savages of the 
Brazilian forests, to confirm their words, raise the hand over the head 
or thrust it into their hair, or they will touch the point s of their weap 
ons. These two accounts of savage ceremony introduce us to customs 
well known to nations of higher culture. The raising of the hand 
toward the sky seems to mean here what it does elsewhere. It is in 
gesture calling on the heaven-god to smite the perjurer with his thun 
derbolt. The touching of the head, again, carries its meaning among 
these Brazilians almost as plainly as in Africa, where we find men 
swearing by their heads or limbs, in the belief that they would wither 
if forsworn ; or, as when among the Old Prussians a man would lay 
his right hand on his own neck, and his left on the holy oak, saying, 
"May Perkun (the thunder-god) destroy me!" As to swearing by 
weapons, another graphic instance of its original meaning comes from 
Aracan, where the witness swearing to speak the truth takes in his 
hand a musket, a sword, a spear, a tiger s tusk, a crocodile s tooth, 
and a thunderbolt (that is, of course, a stone celt). The oath by the 
weapon not only lasted on through classic ages, but remained so com 
mon in Christendom that it was expressly forbidden by a synod ; 
even in the seventeenth century, to swear on the sword (like Hamlet s 
friends in the ghost-scene) was still a legal oath in Holstein. As for 


the holding up the hand to invoke the personal divine sky, the suc 
cessor of this primitive gesture remains to this day among the chief 
acts in the solemn oaths of European nations. 

It could scarcely be shown more clearly with what childlike 
imagination the savage conceives that a symbolic action, such as 
touching his head or his spear, will somehow pass into reality. In 
connection with this group of oaths, w r e can carry yet a step further 
the illustration of the way men s minds work in this primitive stage 
of association of ideas. One of the accounts from New Guinea is 
that the swearer, holding up an arrow, calls gn Heaven to punish him 
if he lies ; but by turning the arrow the other way the oath can be 
neutralized. This is magic all over. What one symbol can do, the 
reverse symbol can undo. True to the laws of primitive magical rea 
soning, uncultured men elsewhere still carry on the symbolic reversal 
of their oaths. An Abyssinian chief, who had sworn an oath he dis 
liked, has been seen to scrape it off his tongue and spit it out. There 
are still places in Germany where the false witness reckons to escape 
the spiritual consequences of perjury by crooking one finger, to make 
it, I suppose, not a straight but a crooked oath, or he puts his left 
hand to his side to neutralize what the right hand is doing. Here is 
the idea of our " over the left ; " but so far as I know this has come 
down with us to mere schoolboy s shuffling. 

It has just been noticed that the arsenal of deadly weapons by 
which the natives of Aracan swear, includes a tiger s tusk and a 
crocodile s tooth. This leads us to a group of instructive rites belong 
ing to Central and North Asia. Probably to this day there may be 
seen in Russian law-courts in Siberia the oath on the bear s head. 
When an Ostiak is to be sworn a bear s head is brought into court, 
and the man makes believe to bite at it, calling on the bear to de 
vour him in like manner if he does not tell the truth. Now, the 
meaning of this act goes beyond magic and into religion, for we 
are here in the region of bear-worship, among people who believe 
that this wise and divine beast knows what goes on, and will come 
and punish them. Nor need one wonder at this, for the idea that 
the bear will hear and come if called on is familiar to German my 
thology. I was interested to find it still in survival in Switzerland 
a few years ago, when a peasant-woman, whom a mischievous little 
English boy had irritated beyond endurance, pronounced the ancient 
awful imprecation on him, " The bear take thee ! " (der Bar nimm 
dich !) Among the hill-tribes of India a tiger s skin is sworn on in 
the same sense as the bear s head among the Ostiaks. Rivers, again, 
which to the savage and barbarian are intelligent and personal divini 
ties, are sworn by in strong belief that their waters will punish him 
who takes their name in vain. We can understand why Homeric 
heroes swore by the rivers, when we hear still among Hindoos how the 
sacred Ganges will take vengeance sure and terrible on the children 


of the perjurer. It is with the same personification, the same fear of 
impending chastisement from the outraged deity, that savage and 
barbaric men have sworn by sky or sun. Thus the Huron Indian 
would say in making solemn promise, " Heaven hears what we do 
this day ! " and the Tunguz, brandishing a knife before the sun, would 
say, " If I lie, may the sun plunge sickness into my entrails like this 
knife." We have but to rise one stage higher in religious ideas to 
reach the type of the famous Roman oaths by Jupiter, the heaven- 
god. He who swore held in his hand a stone, praying that, if he 
knowingly deceived, others might be safe in their countries and laws, 
their holy places and their tombs, but he alone might be cast out, as 
this stone now and he flung it from him. Even more impressive 
was the great treaty-oath, where the pater patratus, holding the sa 
cred flint that symbolized the thunderbolt, called on Jove that if by 
public counsel or wicked fraud the Romans should break the treaty 
first " In that day, O Jove, smite thou the Roman people as I here 
to-day shall smite this swine, and smite the heavier as thou art the 
stronger ! " So saying, he slew the victim w r ith the sacred stone. 

These various examples may be taken as showing the nature and 
meaning of such oaths as belong to the lower stages of civilization. 
Their binding power is that of curses, that the perjurer may be vis 
ited by mishap, disease, death. But at a higher stage of culture, 
where the gods are ceasing to be divine natural objects like the Tiber 
or Ganges, or the sun or sky, but are passing into the glorified human 
or heroic stage, like Apollo or Yenus, there conies into view a milder 
kind of oath, where the man enters into fealty with the god, whom 
he asks to favor or preserve him on condition of his keeping troth. 
Thus, while the proceeding is still an oath with a penalty, this pen 
alty now lies in the perjurer s forfeiting the divine favor. To this 
milder form, which we may conveniently call the " oath of condi 
tional favor," belong such classic phrases as " So may the gods love 
me ! " (Ita me Dii ament /), " As I wish the gods to be propitious to 
me ! " (Ita mihi Deos velim propitios). I call attention to this class 
of oaths, of which we shall presently meet with a remarkable exam 
ple nearer home. We have now to take into consideration a move 
ment of far larger scope. 

Returning to the great first-mentioned class of savage and barbaric 
oaths, sworn by gestures or weapons, or by invocation of divine 
beasts, or rivers, or greater Nature-deities the question now to be 
asked is, What is the nature of the penalties ? It is, that the per 
jurer may be withered by disease, wounded, drowned, smitten by the 
thunderbolt, etc., all these being temporal, visible punishments. The 
state of belief to which the whole class belong is that explicitly de 
scribed among the natives of the Tonga Islands, where oaths were 
received on the declared ground that the gods would punish the false- 
swearer here on earth. A name is wanted to denote this class of 


oaths, belonging especially to the lower culture ; let us call them 
" mundane oaths." Now, it is at a point above the savage level in 
culture that the thought first comes in of the perjurer being punished 
in a world beyond the grave. This was a conception familiar to the 
Egyptians in their remotely ancient civilization. It was at home 
among the old Homeric Greeks, as when Agamemnon, swearing his 
mighty oaths, calls to witness, not only Father Zeus, and the all-see 
ing sun, and the rivers, and earth, but also the Erinnys who down 
below chastise the souls of the dead, whosoever shall have been for 
sworn. Not less plainly is it written in the ancient Hindoo " Laws of 
Manu " "A man of understanding shall swear no false oath even in a 
trifling matter, for he who swears a false oath goes hereafter and here 
to destruction." To this higher stage of culture, then, belongs the 
introduction of the new " post-mundane " element into oaths. For 
ages afterward nations might still use either kind, or combine them 
by adding the penalty after death to that in life. But in the later 
course of history there comes plainly into view a tendency to subor 
dinate the old mundane oath, and at last to suppress it altogether. 
How this came to pass is plain on the face of the matter. It was 
simply the result of accumulated experience. The continual compari 
son of opinions with facts could not but force observant minds to 
admit that a man might swear falsely on sword s edge or spear s 
point, and yet die with a whole skin ; that bears and tigers were not 
to be depended on to choose perjurers for their victims, and that in 
fact the correspondence between the imprecation and the event was 
not real, but only ideal. How judgment by real results thus shaped 
itself in men s minds we may see by the way it came to public utter-* 
ance in classic times, nowhere put more cogently than in the famous 
dialogue in the " Clouds " of Aristophanes. The old farmer Strepsi- 
ades asks, " Whence comes the blazing thunderbolt that Zeus hurls at 
the perjured?" " You fool," replies the Socrates of the play, " you 
smack of old Kronos s times if Zeus smote perjurers, wouldn t he 
have been down on those awful fellows Simon, and Kleonymos, and 
Theoros ? Why, what Zeus does with his bolt is to smite his own 
temple, and the heights of Sunium, and the tall oaks ! Do you mean 
to say that an oak-tree can commit perjury ?" What is said here in 
chaff full many a reasonable man in the old days must have said to 
himself in the soberest earnest, and, once said or thought, but one re 
sult could come of it the result which history shows us did come. 
The venue of the judicial oath was gradually changed, till the later 
kind, with its penalties transferred from earth to the region of de 
parted souls, remained practically in possession of the field. 

As a point in the science of culture, which has hitherto been 
scarcely if at all observed, I am anxious to call attention to the his 
torical stratification of judicial oaths, from the lowest stratum of 
mundane oaths belonging to savage or barbaric times, to the highest 


stratum of post-mundane oaths such as obtain among modern civilized 
nations. Roughly, the development in the course of ages may be 
expressed in the following two classifications : 

Mundane } I Curse. 

Mixed > Oaths, - Conditional Favor. 

Post-Mundane ) ( Judgment. 

Though these two series only partly coincide in history, they so 
far fit that the judicial oaths of the lower culture belong to the class 
of mundane curse, while those of the higher culture in general belong 
to that of post-mundane judgment. Anthropologically, this is the 
most special new view I have here to bring forward. It forms part 
of a wider generalization, belonging at once to the science of morals 
and the science of religion. But, rather than open out the subject 
into this too wide field, we may do well to fix it in our minds by 
tracing a curious historical point in the legal customs of our own 
country. Every one knows that the modes of administering a judi 
cial oath in Scotland and in England are not the same. In Scotland, 
where the witness holds up his hand toward heaven, and swears to 
tell the truth as he shall answer to God at the day of judgment, we 
have before us the most explicit p ossible example of a post-mundane 
oath framed on Christian lines. In contrasting this with the English 
judicial oath, we first notice that our acted ceremony consists com 
monly in taking a New Testament in the hand and kissing it. Thus, 
unlike the Scotch oath, the English oath is sworn on a halidome 
(Anglo-Saxon, hdligdom German, heiligthum),& holy or sacred object. 
Many writers have fallen into confusion about this word, mystifying 
it into sacred judgment or "holy doom;" but it is a perfectly 
straightforward term for a sanctuary or relic, as " On tham haligdome 
swerian " to swear by the relic. Now, this custom of swearing on 
a halidome belongs to far pre-Christian antiquity, one famous exam 
ple being when Hannibal, then a lad of nine years old, was brought 
by his father to the altar and made to swear, by touching the sacred 
things (tactis sacris), that when he grew* up he would be the enemy 
of Rome. In classical antiquity the sacred objects were especially 
the images and altars of the gods, as it is put in a scene in Plautus, 
" Touch this altar of Venus ! " The man answers, " I touch it," and 
then he is sworn. When this ancient rite came into use in early 
Christian England, the object touched might be